Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel Chart With Multiple Variables


Visualizing multiple variables in Excel is crucial for gaining a comprehensive understanding of your data and making informed decisions. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of creating an Excel chart with multiple variables, enabling you to effectively analyze and present complex data sets. By the end of this tutorial, you will have the skills to create visually appealing and informative charts that convey multiple variables effortlessly.

Key Takeaways

  • Visualizing multiple variables in Excel is essential for gaining a comprehensive understanding of data.
  • Creating charts with multiple variables allows for effective analysis and presentation of complex data sets.
  • Choosing the right chart type and customizing it is crucial for representing multiple variables accurately.
  • Enhancing charts with labels, color coding, and elements improves clarity and interpretation.
  • Analyzing and interpreting charts with multiple variables can lead to data-driven decision-making.

Understanding Data and Variables

In order to create an effective Excel chart with multiple variables, it is important to understand the data and variables involved in the process. This will ensure that the chart accurately represents the information you are trying to convey.

A. Defining multiple variables in the context of Excel
  • Multiple variables refer to the different data points or categories that you want to compare or analyze in your chart. In Excel, this could include numerical data, text data, or dates.
  • When working with multiple variables, it is important to consider how they relate to each other and how they will be visually represented in the chart.

B. Identifying the type of data suitable for multiple variable charting
  • Not all types of data are suitable for multiple variable charting in Excel. For example, if you have categorical data, you may want to use a bar chart or a pie chart, while numerical data may be better represented with a line chart or a scatter plot.
  • It is important to consider the nature of your data and the story you want to tell with your chart before deciding on the type of chart to use.

C. Organizing data for effective chart creation
  • Before creating a chart with multiple variables, it is essential to organize your data in a way that makes it easy to input into Excel and interpret visually.
  • This may involve creating a table with clear headings and separating the variables into distinct columns or rows.
  • Properly organizing your data will make it easier to create a chart and ensure that the information is accurately represented.

Choosing the Right Chart Type

When dealing with multiple variables in Excel, it's crucial to choose the right chart type to effectively visualize the data. Below, we'll explore different chart options for multiple variables, determine the most suitable chart type for specific data, and understand the impact of chart type on data visualization.

A. Exploring different chart options for multiple variables
  • Line Chart: Ideal for showing trends over time, comparing multiple variables, and identifying relationships between variables.

  • Bar Chart: Useful for comparing values across categories and displaying data with distinct categories.

  • Scatter Plot: Perfect for visualizing relationships and correlations between multiple variables.

  • Stacked Bar Chart: Helpful for showcasing the contribution of each variable to the total and comparing the total across categories.

  • Combo Chart: Combines different chart types to visualize multiple variables in a single chart.

B. Determining the most suitable chart type for specific data
  • Identify the purpose of the chart: Whether it's to compare values, show trends, or display relationships.

  • Consider the type of data: Categorical, numerical, or time-based data may be better suited to different chart types.

  • Assess the number of variables: Some chart types are better for visualizing a large number of variables, while others are more effective for just a few.

  • Evaluate the audience: The preference and familiarity of the audience with different chart types should also be taken into account.

C. Understanding the impact of chart type on data visualization
  • The chosen chart type can affect how easily patterns and trends in the data are identified.

  • Some chart types may highlight certain variables more prominently, while others may make it difficult to distinguish between variables.

  • The visual appeal and clarity of the chart can impact the audience's understanding and interpretation of the data.

Creating the Chart in Excel

When creating a chart in Excel with multiple variables, it is important to input the data correctly, utilize Excel's chart tools and features, and customize the chart to effectively represent the variables.

Step-by-step guide on inputting data into Excel for chart creation

  • Open Excel: Launch Excel and create a new spreadsheet to input your data.
  • Input Data: Enter the data for each variable into separate columns or rows, ensuring that the data is organized and clear for chart creation.
  • Select Data: Highlight the data that you want to include in the chart.
  • Insert Chart: Go to the "Insert" tab and select the type of chart you want to create, such as a bar chart, line chart, or pie chart.

Utilizing Excel's chart tools and features

  • Chart Styles: Explore different chart styles and designs to find the best representation for your data.
  • Data Labels: Add data labels to the chart to provide context and clarity to the variables.
  • Axis Titles: Include axis titles to label the variables and provide a clear understanding of the chart.
  • Chart Title: Add a chart title that clearly represents the purpose of the chart and the variables being displayed.

Customizing the chart to effectively represent multiple variables

  • Color Coding: Use different colors to represent each variable in the chart for easy differentiation.
  • Legend: Include a legend to explain the colors and variables used in the chart.
  • Data Series: Manipulate the data series to effectively display the multiple variables in the chart.
  • Chart Layout: Adjust the layout of the chart to ensure all variables are clearly represented and easy to interpret.

Enhancing the Chart for Clarity

Once you have created a chart with multiple variables in Excel, it is important to enhance it for clarity and easy interpretation. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Adding labels and titles to the chart

  • Axis Labels: Make sure to label the x and y-axis clearly to provide context for the data being presented. This makes it easier for viewers to understand the chart at a glance.
  • Title: Adding a descriptive title to the chart can help communicate the main message or insight that the chart is trying to convey.
  • Data Labels: Consider adding data labels to specific data points on the chart to provide additional context and make it easier for viewers to interpret the information.

Incorporating color coding for easy interpretation

  • Color Scheme: Use a coherent and meaningful color scheme to differentiate between different variables or categories in the chart. This can help viewers quickly identify and understand the data being presented.
  • Legend: If using color coding, include a legend that clearly explains the meaning of each color used in the chart. This can help viewers interpret the chart accurately.

Utilizing chart elements to highlight specific variables

  • Data Series: Use different chart elements like data series, markers, or trendlines to highlight specific variables or trends within the chart. This can draw attention to key insights and make the chart more informative.
  • Annotations: Consider adding annotations or callouts to the chart to provide additional explanations or insights related to specific variables. This can help viewers understand the significance of certain data points.
  • Gridlines: Adjust the gridlines in the chart to make it easier to read and interpret. This includes adjusting the spacing, color, and style of the gridlines to improve chart clarity.

Analyzing and Interpreting the Chart

After creating a chart with multiple variables in Excel, it’s important to delve deeper into the data and extract valuable insights. Here are some steps to help you analyze and interpret the chart effectively:

A. Understanding key patterns and trends within the chart
  • Identify common trends: Look for recurring patterns or trends within the chart, such as upward or downward movements, cycles, or fluctuations.
  • Spot anomalies: Identify any outliers or irregularities that may stand out in the data, as they could signify important information.
  • Compare variables: Analyze how each variable interacts with the others, and identify any correlations or dependencies between them.

B. Extracting insights from the visualization of multiple variables
  • Identify relationships: Use the chart to uncover relationships between different variables, which can provide valuable insights for decision-making.
  • Gain a holistic view: By visualizing multiple variables together, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the data and identify complex relationships that may not be apparent from looking at individual variables.
  • Identify opportunities and risks: Use the chart to identify potential opportunities for improvement or areas of concern that may require further investigation.

C. Using the chart for data-driven decision-making
  • Inform strategic decisions: The insights derived from the chart can be used to make informed decisions that are backed by data and analysis.
  • Validate assumptions: Use the chart to validate or challenge existing assumptions about the relationships between variables, and adjust strategies accordingly.
  • Communicate findings: Share the insights from the chart with stakeholders to drive informed discussions and support decision-making processes.

By following these steps, you can leverage the power of Excel charts with multiple variables to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.


Creating charts with multiple variables in Excel is essential for visualizing complex data and gaining valuable insights. By incorporating different data sets and variables into a single chart, you can easily compare and analyze trends, patterns, and relationships. This can help you make informed decisions and communicate your findings more effectively.

I encourage all readers to apply the insights gained from this tutorial in their own data visualization projects. Experiment with different chart types, explore various combinations of variables, and use the power of Excel to create impactful visual representations of your data. With practice and creativity, you can elevate your data visualization skills and present compelling insights to your audience.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles