Excel Tutorial: How To Make An Excel Graph With Multiple Data Sets


Creating graphs in Excel is an essential skill for anyone working with data. Visualizing data through graphs can help to identify trends, patterns, and relationships, making it easier to interpret and understand complex information. In this Excel tutorial, we will learn how to make an Excel graph with multiple data sets, allowing you to effectively compare and analyze different sets of data within a single graph.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating graphs in Excel is crucial for effective data visualization and analysis.
  • Understanding the different data sets and their relevance is essential for accurate graphing.
  • Properly organizing data in Excel is crucial for creating an accurate and effective graph.
  • Consider the different graph options available in Excel and choose the most suitable type for multiple data sets.
  • Formatting the graph with axis labels, titles, and legends is important for clarity and professional presentation.

Understanding the data sets

Before creating an excel graph with multiple data sets, it is important to have a clear understanding of the data being used. This ensures that the graph accurately represents the information and effectively communicates the intended message.

A. Explain the different data sets to be used in the graph
  • Data Set 1: This data set represents the sales figures for a particular product over a period of time.

  • Data Set 2: This data set shows the marketing expenses associated with the product over the same period of time.

  • Data Set 3: This data set includes customer satisfaction ratings for the product during the specified time frame.

B. Discuss the relevance of each data set in relation to the graph being created
  • The sales figures are crucial for understanding the product's performance in the market and how it has evolved over time.

  • The marketing expenses help to provide context for the sales figures and demonstrate the investment made to drive those sales.

  • The customer satisfaction ratings offer insight into the overall reception of the product among consumers and can indicate the potential for future sales growth.

Organizing the data in Excel

When creating a graph with multiple data sets in Excel, it is crucial to organize the data properly to ensure accurate and clear representation. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to input the data into Excel and the importance of doing so.

A. Provide step-by-step instructions for inputting the data into Excel
  • Open Microsoft Excel and create a new spreadsheet.
  • Label your columns and rows with clear and descriptive names to represent the data sets.
  • Input the data into the appropriate cells, making sure to keep each data set separate and organized.
  • Double-check the accuracy of the entered data and make any necessary adjustments.

B. Highlight the importance of organizing the data properly for accurate graphing

Properly organizing the data in Excel is essential for creating an accurate graph. When data is organized neatly and logically, it becomes much easier to create a graph that effectively communicates the intended message. Without organized data, it can be challenging to interpret and present the results accurately.

Selecting the graph type

When creating a graph with multiple data sets in Excel, choosing the right graph type is crucial for accurately representing the data. There are several graph options available in Excel, and various factors should be considered when determining the most suitable graph type for your data sets.

A. Discuss the different graph options available in Excel
  • 1. Bar Graphs

    Bar graphs are effective for comparing data across different categories and are useful for displaying multiple data sets.
  • 2. Line Graphs

    Line graphs are ideal for showing trends over time and can be used to compare multiple data sets simultaneously.
  • 3. Scatter Plots

    Scatter plots are helpful for visualizing the relationship between two variables and can be used to display multiple data sets on the same graph.
  • 4. Pie Charts

    Pie charts are useful for showing the proportion of parts to a whole, but may not be suitable for comparing multiple data sets.

B. Explain the factors to consider when choosing a graph type for multiple data sets
  • 1. Data Relationship

    Consider the relationship between the data sets and determine whether it is best represented by comparing values, trends, or proportions.
  • 2. Data Distribution

    Assess the distribution of the data and choose a graph type that effectively visualizes the distribution and variation within each data set.
  • 3. Audience and Purpose

    Take into account the intended audience and the purpose of the graph to ensure that the chosen graph type effectively communicates the key insights from the data.
  • 4. Data Complexity

    Evaluate the complexity of the data sets and choose a graph type that can clearly display the data without overwhelming the audience.

Creating the graph

When working with multiple data sets in Excel, creating a graph to visualize the data is an effective way to present your findings. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create an Excel graph with multiple data sets.

A. Walk through the process of selecting the data and inserting the graph

1. Select the data: First, select the data sets that you want to include in your graph. This can be done by clicking and dragging to highlight the cells containing the data.

2. Insert the graph: Once the data is selected, go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon and click on the type of graph you want to create, such as a bar graph, line graph, or pie chart.

B. Provide tips for customizing the graph to display multiple data sets clearly

1. Use different colors: When working with multiple data sets, it's important to differentiate between them visually. Assign different colors to each data set in the graph to make it easier to distinguish between them.

2. Add a legend: Including a legend in your graph can help viewers understand which data set each color represents. This is especially useful when dealing with multiple data sets.

3. Adjust the axis labels: Ensure that the axis labels on your graph clearly represent the different data sets. You may need to customize the axis labels to accurately reflect the data being displayed.

4. Utilize different graph types: In some cases, using different types of graph for each data set can enhance clarity. For example, you might use a bar graph for one data set and a line graph for another to better visualize the differences.

5. Consider using a secondary axis: If the data sets have significantly different scales, consider using a secondary axis to ensure that both sets of data are clearly visible on the graph.

Formatting the graph

When creating an Excel graph with multiple data sets, it’s important to ensure that the graph is clear and professional-looking. This involves properly formatting the graph to include axis labels, titles, and legends.

  • Explain how to add axis labels, titles, and legends to the graph
  • Axis labels are essential for providing context to the data being presented on the graph. To add axis labels in Excel, simply click on the graph, go to the "Chart Tools" tab, and select "Add Chart Element" to add axis titles. Titles are also important for providing a clear indication of what the graph is representing. To add titles, navigate to the "Chart Tools" tab and select "Chart Title." Legends are helpful for distinguishing between multiple data sets on the graph. To add legends in Excel, go to the "Chart Tools" tab and select "Legend" to specify its location and formatting.

  • Discuss the importance of formatting for clarity and professional presentation
  • Formatting the graph is crucial for ensuring that it is easily understandable and looks professional. Without proper formatting, the graph can appear cluttered and confusing, making it difficult for the reader to grasp the intended message. Clear axis labels, titles, and legends help to guide the reader through the graph, making it easier for them to interpret the data. Additionally, a well-formatted graph conveys a sense of professionalism and attention to detail, which is important for making a good impression in presentations or reports.


In conclusion, creating an Excel graph with multiple data sets involves the following key steps: organizing your data, selecting the chart type, and customizing the graph to suit your needs. It's important to keep your data well-organized and to choose the right type of graph to effectively communicate your message. Furthermore, I encourage readers to practice creating graphs and to explore different graphing options in Excel. This will not only improve your Excel skills, but also enhance your ability to tell compelling stories with your data.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles