Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Bar Chart In Excel With Multiple Data


Bar charts are essential tools for visually displaying and comparing data in Excel. They allow you to easily identify trends, patterns, and variations within the data, making it simpler to draw insights and make informed decisions. When it comes to creating a bar chart with multiple data sets in Excel, the benefits are even greater. Not only can you compare different categories within one chart, but you can also effectively showcase the relationships and differences between various data points, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the information presented.

Key Takeaways

  • Bar charts are essential for visually displaying and comparing data in Excel.
  • Creating bar charts with multiple data sets allows for better comparison and understanding of relationships between data points.
  • Properly organizing data is crucial before creating a bar chart in Excel.
  • Customizing the appearance of the bar chart, including colors, styles, and titles, enhances its visual appeal and clarity.
  • Bar charts can be used to identify trends and make informed, data-driven decisions.

Understanding the Data

When creating a bar chart in Excel with multiple sets of data, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the data that will be used in the chart. This includes knowing the different types of data that can be represented in a bar chart and the significance of organizing the data properly.

A. Explain the different types of data that can be used in a bar chart
  • Categorical data: Data that can be divided into distinct categories, such as months, days of the week, or product categories.
  • Numerical data: Data that consists of numerical values, such as sales figures, population statistics, or test scores.
  • Time-based data: Data that is organized based on specific time periods, such as years, quarters, or hours of the day.

B. Discuss the importance of organizing the data properly before creating the chart

Properly organizing the data before creating a bar chart is essential for ensuring accuracy and readability. This includes arranging the data in a logical order, labeling the data clearly, and removing any unnecessary or irrelevant information. Without well-organized data, the bar chart may not effectively convey the intended message or insight.

Creating the Bar Chart

When working with multiple sets of data in Excel, creating a bar chart can help visualize and compare the information more effectively. Follow these steps to create a bar chart with multiple data in Excel:

A. Open Excel and select the data range for the chart

Before creating the bar chart, input the data you want to visualize into an Excel spreadsheet. Once the data is entered, select the range of cells that you want to include in the chart. This will be the data that the bar chart will represent.

B. Go to the "Insert" tab and click on "Bar Chart" to choose the desired format

After selecting the data range, navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window. From the "Insert" tab, locate and click on the "Bar Chart" option. This will open a drop-down menu where you can choose the specific format of the bar chart you want to create, such as clustered bar, stacked bar, or 100% stacked bar.

Once you have selected the desired format, the bar chart will be generated and displayed on the Excel spreadsheet based on the selected data range. You can then customize the chart further by adding titles, axes labels, and other formatting options to enhance its appearance and clarity.

Customizing the Bar Chart

Once you have created your bar chart with multiple data in Excel, you can further customize it to make it visually appealing and easier to understand.

  • Adjust the colors and styles of the bars
  • Excel allows you to change the colors and styles of the bars in your chart to make them stand out. To do this, select the chart, then go to the "Format" tab on the Excel ribbon. From here, you can choose different fill colors, bar border styles, and other formatting options to make your chart visually appealing.

  • Add axis titles and a chart title
  • Adding axis titles and a chart title can help clarify the information presented in your bar chart. To add axis titles, click on the chart, then go to the "Chart Elements" button that appears when the chart is selected. From here, you can check the box next to "Axis Titles" and then choose the axis you want to add a title to. For the chart title, simply click on the chart, go to the "Chart Elements" button, and check the box next to "Chart Title."

Adding Multiple Data Sets

When creating a bar chart in Excel, you may want to add multiple data sets to compare different categories or values. Here's how you can easily input additional data sets and include them in your existing bar chart.

A. Input additional data sets into the spreadsheet

To add multiple data sets to your bar chart, start by inputting the new data into your existing spreadsheet. Make sure to label the data clearly and organize it in a way that makes it easy to select for the chart. You can add the new data in separate columns or rows, depending on how you want the chart to display the information.

B. Select the new data and add it to the existing bar chart

Once you have input the additional data sets, you can easily add them to your existing bar chart. Simply select the new data along with the existing chart, and then navigate to the "Design" tab in the Excel toolbar. From there, click on "Select Data" and choose to add the new data to the chart. You can also make any necessary adjustments to the chart's formatting and design to ensure that all the data sets are clearly represented.

Analyzing the Bar Chart

When looking at a bar chart with multiple data sets, it is important to interpret the data and use the chart to identify trends and make data-driven decisions.

A. Interpret the data presented in the bar chart
  • Compare and Contrast:

    Compare the different bars and their heights to understand the magnitude of the data being represented. Look for patterns or outliers that may stand out.
  • Analyze Relationships:

    Look for any relationships or correlations between the different data sets presented in the bar chart. Determine if there are any clear relationships between the variables being compared.
  • Understand the Data:

    Ensure that you have a clear understanding of what each bar in the chart represents. Check the axis labels and legend to interpret the data accurately.

B. Use the chart to identify trends and make data-driven decisions
  • Identify Trends:

    Look for any patterns or trends in the data presented in the bar chart. Identify any consistent increases or decreases in the data over time or different categories.
  • Make Informed Decisions:

    Use the insights gained from the bar chart to make informed decisions. Whether it is for business strategy, resource allocation, or performance evaluation, the data presented in the bar chart can help guide your decisions.
  • Predict Future Outcomes:

    Utilize the trends identified in the bar chart to predict future outcomes. By understanding the past and present data trends, you can make educated predictions for the future.


Creating a bar chart with multiple data sets in Excel is a valuable skill for anyone working with data. It allows for easy comparison and analysis of important information, making it an essential tool for professionals in various fields.

We encourage our readers to practice creating and customizing bar charts in Excel to enhance their data visualization skills. The more familiar you become with the process, the more effective and impactful your charts will be in presenting your data to others.

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