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


Charts are essential tools for visualizing and analyzing data effectively. They provide a clear and concise way to present complex information, making it easier to spot patterns and trends. In this Excel tutorial, we will cover the step-by-step process of creating a chart in Excel using your data, allowing you to make informed decisions and communicate your findings more effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Charts are essential for visualizing and analyzing data effectively
  • Understanding your data is crucial for selecting the right chart type
  • Inputting data into Excel and organizing it efficiently is a necessary step
  • Creating the chart involves selecting the data and customizing it using the chart wizard
  • Adding finishing touches like titles, labels, and legends can enhance the clarity of the chart

Understanding your data

Before creating a chart in Excel, it's important to review and understand the dataset that will be used. This will ensure that the chart accurately represents the information you want to convey.

A. Review the dataset that will be used for creating the chart

Take a close look at the data that will be used to create the chart. Is it in a format that is easy to work with? Are there any missing or incomplete data points that need to be addressed? Understanding the dataset will help you determine the best way to visualize the information.

B. Analyze the different variables within the dataset

Identify the different variables within the dataset and consider how you want to represent them in the chart. Are there specific trends or patterns that you want to highlight? Understanding the variables will help you choose the most appropriate chart type for your data.

Selecting the right chart type

When creating a chart in Excel, it is important to select the right chart type that best represents the dataset. There are various types of charts available in Excel, and choosing the most suitable one can greatly enhance the visual representation of the data.

A. Discuss the different types of charts available in Excel

Excel offers a wide range of chart types to choose from, including:

  • Column Chart: Shows data changes over a period of time or illustrates comparisons among items.
  • Bar Chart: Compares values across different categories.
  • Line Chart: Displays trends over a period of time.
  • Pie Chart: Represents parts of a whole and is useful for showing the proportion of each category.
  • Area Chart: Emphasizes the magnitude of change over time.
  • Scatter Plot: Shows the relationship between two sets of data.
  • And many more...

B. Determine which chart type is most suitable for the dataset

After understanding the different types of charts available, it is essential to determine which chart type is most suitable for the dataset being used. Consider the purpose of the data, the relationship between variables, and the message you want to convey. For example, if you want to compare values across different categories, a bar chart may be more appropriate. If you want to show the trend of data over time, a line chart would be more suitable.

Inputting data into Excel

Inputting the dataset into Excel is the first step in creating a chart. This process involves entering the data into the cells of an Excel spreadsheet and organizing it in a clear and efficient manner.

A. Step-by-step instructions on how to input the dataset into Excel
  • Open a new Excel spreadsheet and select the first cell where you want to input the data.
  • Type in the first entry of your dataset, then press the "Enter" key to move to the next cell.
  • Continue entering the rest of the data, pressing "Enter" after each entry to move to the next cell.
  • For larger datasets, consider pasting the data from another source or importing it from a file.

B. Organizing the data in a clear and efficient manner
  • Use separate columns or rows for each category of data to keep it organized and easy to work with.
  • Add headers to your data to make it clear what each column or row represents.
  • Ensure that the data is free from any formatting errors or inconsistencies to avoid any issues when creating the chart.

Creating the chart

When working in Excel, creating a chart to visualize your data is a great way to illustrate trends and patterns. Follow these simple steps to create a chart in Excel:

A. Instructions on how to select the data for the chart
  • Select your data: To create a chart in Excel, the first step is to select the data that you want to include in the chart. This can be done by clicking and dragging the mouse over the cells that contain the data you want to chart.
  • Include labels: Make sure to include any labels or headers for the data in your selection as well. This will help Excel to properly interpret and display your data in the chart.

B. Walkthrough on using the chart wizard to customize the chart
  • Open the Chart Wizard: Once your data is selected, navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window. From there, click on the "Insert Chart" option to open the Chart Wizard.
  • Choose your chart type: In the Chart Wizard, you will have the option to choose from various chart types such as bar, line, pie, and more. Select the chart type that best represents your data and click "Next" to proceed.
  • Customize your chart: The Chart Wizard will then prompt you to customize your chart with options such as titles, axis labels, and formatting. Use this step to make your chart visually appealing and easy to understand for your audience.
  • Finalize and insert the chart: Once you have finished customizing your chart, click "Finish" in the Chart Wizard to insert it into your Excel worksheet.

Adding finishing touches

Once your chart is created and the data is visualized, it’s time to add those finishing touches to make it polished and professional-looking.

A. Exploring different customization options for the chart
  • Color: You can experiment with different color schemes for the chart to make it visually appealing. Excel offers a range of pre-set color combinations as well as the option to customize colors according to your preference.
  • Styles: Excel provides various chart styles such as 3-D, line, and bar, among others. You can explore these styles to find the one that best suits your data and presentation.
  • Effects: Adding effects like shadows, bevels, and gradients can make your chart stand out. However, it’s important not to overdo it and keep the effects minimal for a professional look.

B. Adding titles, labels, and legends to the chart for clarity
  • Title: A descriptive and precise title can make it easier for the audience to understand the purpose of the chart. You can add a title to the chart by clicking on the “Chart Title” option in the design tab.
  • Labels: Axis labels are crucial for explaining the data being depicted. You can add labels for the X and Y axes to provide context and clarity to the chart.
  • Legends: If your chart includes multiple data series, a legend can help in identifying each series. Excel allows you to add, remove, or reposition the legend as per your preference.


Creating charts in Excel is a valuable skill that every professional should strive to master. It not only helps in visualizing complex data in a more understandable way but also allows for better analysis and decision-making. I encourage all readers to practice creating charts with their own datasets. The more you practice, the more comfortable and proficient you'll become at utilizing this powerful tool in Excel.

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