Excel Tutorial: How To Make Bar Graph In Excel With 2 Variables


Bar graphs are an essential tool for visualizing and understanding data, allowing us to easily compare and interpret information. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create a bar graph in Excel using two variables. Whether you are a student, a professional, or simply someone interested in data analysis, mastering this skill will enable you to effectively present and analyze your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Bar graphs are essential for visualizing and understanding data, allowing for easy comparison and interpretation.
  • Mastering the creation of bar graphs in Excel with two variables is valuable for students, professionals, and anyone interested in data analysis.
  • Understanding and organizing the data set in Excel is crucial for creating an effective bar graph.
  • Customizing the design and adding titles and labels to the bar graph improves clarity and presentation.
  • Analyzing and utilizing the bar graph can lead to practical applications and valuable insights for decision-making.

Understanding the data

A. Explanation of the two variables to be used in the bar graph:

  • Variable 1: Provide a clear explanation of the first variable that will be used in the bar graph. Outline its significance and relevance to the data set.
  • Variable 2: Explain the second variable to be used and its relationship to the first variable. Highlight any patterns or trends that may be of interest.

B. Review of the data set and its organization in Excel:

  • Data Set Overview: Briefly describe the data set that will be used for creating the bar graph. Include the source of the data, the size of the data set, and any important characteristics.
  • Organization in Excel: Explain how the data is organized in Excel, including the placement of the two variables and any additional information that may be relevant to the creation of the bar graph.

Creating the bar graph

Bar graphs are a great way to visualize data with two variables. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of creating a bar graph in Excel with 2 variables.

A. Step-by-step guide on selecting the data for the graph
  • Step 1: Open your Excel spreadsheet and ensure that your data is organized in a way that makes it easy to create a bar graph. Typically, you will have one variable (such as sales) listed in one column and another variable (such as months) listed in another column.
  • Step 2: Select the data for your bar graph by clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells containing the data for both variables.
  • Step 3: Once the data is selected, go to the "Insert" tab in Excel and click on the "Bar Graph" icon. From the drop-down menu, choose the type of bar graph you want to create (e.g., clustered bar graph, stacked bar graph).

B. Instructions on inserting the bar graph in Excel
  • Step 1: After selecting the data and choosing the type of bar graph you want to create, a blank bar graph will appear on your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Step 2: You can customize your bar graph by adding titles, axis labels, and legends. Simply click on the elements of the graph and type in the information you want to display.
  • Step 3: You also have the option to change the colors and styles of the bars in your graph to make it more visually appealing.
  • Step 4: Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your bar graph, you can further analyze the data by adding trendlines, data labels, and other features to enhance the presentation of your data.

Customizing the bar graph

When creating a bar graph in Excel with 2 variables, it's important to customize the graph to make it visually appealing and easy to interpret. Here are some ways you can customize your bar graph:

Exploring different design options for the bar graph

  • Data series colors: You can change the color of the bars to make them visually appealing and differentiate between the two variables. To do this, right-click on the bar and select "Format Data Series" to choose a new color.
  • Bar width: You can adjust the width of the bars to make them thinner or thicker based on your preference. Simply click on the bars to select them, then right-click and choose "Format Data Series" to adjust the bar width.
  • Bar gap: You can also modify the gap between the bars to make them more spaced out or closer together. Again, right-click on the bars, select "Format Data Series," and make adjustments to the gap width.

Adding titles and labels to the graph for clarity

  • Title: Adding a title to your bar graph can help provide context and make it easier to understand at a glance. To add a title, click on the chart, go to the "Chart Tools" tab, and select "Chart Title" to insert a title above the graph.
  • Axis labels: It's crucial to label both the x-axis and y-axis to indicate what the variables represent. To add axis labels, click on the chart, go to the "Chart Tools" tab, and select "Axis Titles" to add labels to the x-axis and y-axis.
  • Data labels: You can also add data labels to the individual bars to display the exact values they represent. Click on the bars, right-click, and choose "Add Data Labels" to display the values on the bars.

Analyzing the bar graph

After creating a bar graph in Excel with 2 variables, it's important to carefully analyze the data presented. This step is crucial for gaining insights from the visual representation of the data and making informed decisions based on the analysis.

A. Interpreting the relationship between the two variables
  • Identifying the independent and dependent variables

    Before interpreting the relationship between the two variables, it's essential to identify which variable is the independent variable and which is the dependent variable. This will help in understanding the cause-and-effect relationship between them.

  • Examining the direction of the relationship

    Look at how changes in one variable affect the other. Is there a positive or negative relationship, or is there no discernible pattern?

  • Assessing the strength of the relationship

    Determine how strong the relationship is between the two variables. Is it a strong correlation, a weak correlation, or no correlation at all?

B. Identifying any patterns or trends in the data presented
  • Looking for patterns in the bar heights

    Observe if there are any noticeable patterns in the heights of the bars. Do certain values appear more frequently, or are there outliers that stand out?

  • Assessing the overall trend

    Examine the overall trend in the data. Are the bar heights increasing, decreasing, or remaining relatively constant across the different categories?

  • Identifying any outliers

    Check for any values that deviate significantly from the rest of the data. These outliers could provide valuable insights into the underlying factors affecting the variables.

Utilizing the bar graph

Bar graphs are a powerful tool in Excel for visualizing and analyzing data with 2 variables. Let's explore the practical applications and potential insights gained from utilizing this type of graph.

A. Discussing the practical applications of the graph in decision-making
  • Comparing data

    Bar graphs are commonly used to compare data between different categories. For example, you can use a bar graph to compare the sales performance of different products over a specific time period.

  • Monitoring trends

    By creating a bar graph with 2 variables, you can easily monitor trends over time. This can be useful for identifying changes in data such as customer satisfaction scores over different quarters.

  • Identifying relationships

    Bar graphs can also help in identifying relationships between 2 variables. For instance, you can use a bar graph to visualize the correlation between advertising expenditure and sales revenue for different marketing channels.

B. Exploring the potential insights gained from the visualization
  • Spotting patterns

    When creating a bar graph with 2 variables, it becomes easier to spot patterns and anomalies in the data. This can lead to valuable insights that may influence decision-making.

  • Highlighting disparities

    Bar graphs can effectively highlight disparities between different categories or groups. This can be crucial in identifying areas that require attention or improvement.

  • Communicating information

    Visual representations such as bar graphs can make it easier to communicate complex information to stakeholders and decision-makers. This can facilitate a better understanding of the data and support informed decision-making.


In conclusion, creating a bar graph in Excel with two variables is a simple and effective way to visualize data. To recap, you can easily accomplish this by selecting your data, inserting a bar graph, and then customizing it to include both variables. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of your data and identify trends and patterns that may not be immediately apparent from raw numbers or text. Visualizing data in this way can improve decision-making and communication of insights to others, making it an invaluable skill for anyone working with data in Excel.

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