Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Cusum Chart In Excel


Have you ever heard of a cusum chart and wondered how it can be used in data analysis? In this tutorial, we will explore the concept of cusum charts and their importance in analyzing data. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced Excel user, learning how to create a cusum chart can greatly enhance your analytical skills and help you make more informed decisions based on your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Cusum charts are important in analyzing data and making informed decisions.
  • Understanding cusum charts and how to create them in Excel can enhance analytical skills.
  • Customizing cusum charts allows for better visualization and interpretation of data.
  • Cusum charts have practical applications in quality control, trend detection, and outlier identification.
  • Using cusum charts in data analysis can lead to improved data-driven decision making.

Understanding Cusum Charts

A. Definition of cusum charts

A cusum chart, short for cumulative sum control chart, is a tool used in statistical quality control to monitor the consistency of a process over time. It plots the cumulative sum of deviations from a target value against time, making it easier to identify any shifts or trends in the process.

B. How cusum charts are used in data analysis

Cusum charts are commonly used to detect small and persistent shifts in process quality that might not be easily detected by other control charts. By continuously plotting the cumulative sum of deviations, cusum charts provide a visual representation of process performance over time, allowing analysts to identify any changes that may indicate a process is out of control.

C. Benefits of using cusum charts

  • Early detection of process shifts: Cusum charts are sensitive to small changes in the process, making it possible to detect shifts early before they become significant.
  • Ability to monitor long-term trends: By plotting cumulative sums over time, cusum charts allow for the monitoring of long-term trends, providing a comprehensive view of process performance.
  • Improved decision-making: With the ability to quickly identify process shifts, cusum charts enable timely intervention and decision-making, ultimately leading to improved process control and quality.

Steps to Create a Cusum Chart in Excel

Creating a cusum chart in Excel can help you visualize the cumulative sum of a dataset and identify any shifts or trends. Follow these steps to create a cusum chart in Excel:

A. Open Excel and select data
  • Open a new or existing Excel workbook.
  • Select the dataset for which you want to create the cusum chart.

B. Insert a line chart
  • After selecting the data, go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on "Insert Line or Area Chart" and select a line chart style.

C. Calculate the cumulative sum
  • Create a new column next to your dataset to calculate the cumulative sum.
  • In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula to calculate the cumulative sum, for example: =SUM($B$2:B2) where B2 is the first cell of your original dataset.
  • Drag the fill handle down to apply the formula to the entire column.

D. Add the cusum line to the chart
  • Select the line chart you inserted earlier.
  • Right click on the chart and choose "Select Data".
  • Click "Add" to insert a new series and select the range of the cumulative sum values as the series values.

E. Label the chart and axes
  • Click on the chart to select it.
  • Go to the "Chart Tools" tab and click on "Add Chart Element".
  • Choose "Axis Titles" to add labels to the horizontal and vertical axes, and add a title for the chart.

Customizing the Cusum Chart

Once you have created your cusum chart in Excel, you can customize it to better suit your needs and make it visually appealing. Here are some ways to customize your cusum chart:

A. Changing the chart style and color
  • Chart Style: To change the style of the cusum chart, right-click on the chart and select "Change Chart Type" from the menu. You can then choose from a variety of chart styles to find one that best fits your data.
  • Chart Color: To change the color of the cusum chart, right-click on the data series in the chart and select "Format Data Series." From there, you can choose a different color for the data series to make it stand out.

B. Adding a title and legend
  • Title: To add a title to your cusum chart, click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab at the top of the Excel window. From there, click on "Chart Title" and select where you want the title to appear.
  • Legend: To add a legend to your cusum chart, click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab. Click on "Add Chart Element" and then select "Legend" to display it on your chart.

C. Adjusting the axis scales
  • Horizontal Axis: To adjust the scale of the horizontal axis on your cusum chart, click on the axis and go to the "Format Axis" pane. From there, you can set the minimum and maximum bounds for the axis, as well as the major and minor units.
  • Vertical Axis: To adjust the scale of the vertical axis, click on the axis and go to the "Format Axis" pane. Here, you can set the minimum and maximum bounds, as well as the major and minor units for the vertical axis.

D. Adding data labels or annotations
  • Data Labels: To add data labels to your cusum chart, click on the data series in the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab. From there, click on "Add Chart Element" and select "Data Labels." You can then choose where you want the labels to appear, such as above the data points or inside the data points.
  • Annotations: To add annotations to your cusum chart, click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab. From there, click on "Add Chart Element" and select "Annotations." You can then add text or shapes to the chart to provide additional context or information.

Interpreting the Cusum Chart

When it comes to analyzing data in Excel, the cusum chart is a powerful tool that can help you identify shifts and trends in your data. Understanding how to interpret the cusum chart is essential for making informed decisions based on the insights it provides.

A. Understanding the cusum line

The cusum chart consists of a line that represents the cumulative sum of the deviations from a target or desired value. This line helps to visualize the overall trend in the data and can indicate whether the process is within control or experiencing shifts.

B. Analyzing patterns and trends in the data

As you examine the cusum chart, look for patterns and trends in the data. A consistently upward or downward trend may indicate a systematic change in the process, while random fluctuations around the zero line may suggest that the process is in control.

C. Identifying shifts or deviations in the data

One of the primary benefits of the cusum chart is its ability to identify shifts or deviations in the data. Sudden changes in the cusum line can signal that the process has undergone a significant change, prompting further investigation into the root cause of the shift.

Practical Applications of Cusum Charts

Excel makes it easy to create cusum charts, which are valuable tools for quality control, process monitoring, and identifying trends and anomalies in data.

A. Quality control and process monitoring
  • Monitoring production processes

  • Identifying deviations from standard performance

  • Tracking changes in process parameters

B. Detecting changes in trends or patterns
  • Identifying shifts in a process over time

  • Spotting sudden variations in data patterns

  • Monitoring the consistency of a process

C. Identifying outliers or anomalies in data
  • Detecting unusual data points

  • Pinpointing errors or irregularities in a process

  • Highlighting unexpected trends or behaviors in the data


In conclusion, cusum charts are a vital tool for detecting small shifts in data, making them crucial for quality control and process monitoring. They can provide insights that traditional control charts may miss, allowing for more proactive decision-making. I encourage you to start using cusum charts in your data analysis to gain a deeper understanding of your processes and to improve overall quality. As you explore the usefulness of cusum charts in Excel, you'll find that they can be a valuable asset in your analytical toolkit, helping you to better understand and improve your processes.

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