Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Histogram In Excel 2018


When it comes to visualizing the distribution of data, histograms are an essential tool in any data analyst's arsenal. A histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data, where the data is grouped into intervals and the frequency of each interval is plotted. This powerful visualization tool allows analysts to quickly identify patterns, outliers, and trends within their data, making it an indispensable part of the data analysis process.

The importance of using histograms in data analysis cannot be overstated. They provide a clear and concise way to understand the distribution of data, helping analysts to make informed decisions and draw meaningful insights. Whether you're a seasoned Excel user or just getting started, learning how to create a histogram in Excel 2018 is a valuable skill that can elevate your data analysis capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Histograms are essential tools for visualizing the distribution of numerical data
  • Using histograms in data analysis is crucial for identifying patterns, outliers, and trends
  • Learning how to create a histogram in Excel 2018 can elevate data analysis capabilities
  • Customizing and analyzing histograms can provide valuable insights for decision making
  • Histograms are valuable for making informed business decisions and identifying areas for improvement

Setting up the data

Before creating a histogram in Excel 2018, it is important to properly organize and review the data that will be used. This ensures that the resulting histogram accurately represents the data set.

A. Organizing the data

When preparing the data for a histogram, it is essential to organize it into columns. Each column should represent a different category or range of values that will be used to construct the histogram. For example, if creating a histogram to display the frequency of test scores, one column may include the score ranges (e.g., 0-10, 11-20, 21-30), while another column includes the frequency of each range.

B. Ensuring the data is complete and accurate

Before proceeding with creating a histogram, it is important to review the data to ensure that it is complete and accurate. This includes checking for any missing values, typographical errors, or inconsistencies in the data set. Data completeness and accuracy are crucial for generating an informative and reliable histogram.

Excel Tutorial: How to make a histogram in excel 2018

Creating a histogram in Excel 2018 is a useful way to visualize the distribution of your data. With just a few simple steps, you can create an informative chart that will help you analyze your data more effectively.

Selecting the data range

The first step in creating a histogram in Excel is to select the data range that you want to include in the chart. This can be done by clicking and dragging the mouse over the cells containing your data, or by typing in the specific cell references.

Inserting a histogram chart

Once you have selected your data range, the next step is to insert a histogram chart. This can be done by clicking on the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window, and then selecting the "Histogram" option from the "Charts" group. This will create a basic histogram chart based on your selected data range.

Choosing the appropriate options for the chart

After inserting the histogram chart, you can further customize it by choosing the appropriate options. This can be done by right-clicking on the chart and selecting the "Format Chart Area" option, which will allow you to change the chart title, axis labels, and other formatting options. You can also use the "Chart Styles" and "Chart Filters" buttons in the chart tools to further customize the appearance and data displayed on the chart.

Customizing the histogram

Once you have created a histogram in Excel, you may want to make some customizations to enhance its visual appeal and effectively convey your data. Here are some ways you can customize your histogram:

Formatting the chart title and axis labels

To ensure that your histogram is clearly labeled, you can customize the chart title and axis labels. This can be done by right-clicking on the title or axis label and selecting “Format Axis” or “Format Chart Title.” From there, you can change the font, color, size, and other formatting options to make the labels more prominent and visually appealing.

Adjusting the bin width and number of bins

Excel automatically calculates the bin width and number of bins for your histogram, but you can manually adjust these values to better fit your data. To do this, right-click on the x-axis of the histogram and select “Format Axis.” From there, you can modify the bin width and number of bins to create a histogram that more accurately represents your data distribution.

Changing the color and style of the bars

To make your histogram more visually appealing, you can change the color and style of the bars. This can be done by selecting the bars and then right-clicking to access the “Format Data Series” option. From there, you can choose a different color, adjust the bar width, or apply a gradient or pattern to the bars to make them stand out.

Analyzing the Histogram

After creating a histogram in Excel 2018, it is important to analyze the distribution of the data and identify any outliers or patterns that may be present. This step is crucial in extracting meaningful insights from the histogram.

A. Interpreting the Distribution of the Data

When analyzing the histogram, it is essential to pay attention to the shape of the distribution. Is it symmetric, skewed to the left, or skewed to the right? This information can provide valuable insights into the underlying data and its characteristics. Additionally, observing the central tendency and dispersion of the data can help in understanding the overall distribution.

B. Identifying Outliers and Patterns in the Data

Another important aspect of analyzing the histogram is to identify any outliers that may be present in the data. Outliers can significantly impact the interpretation of the data and should be carefully examined. Additionally, patterns such as clusters or gaps in the histogram can provide insights into the underlying data distribution and potential relationships between data points.

Using the histogram for decision making

Utilizing histograms in Excel 2018 can greatly aid in making informed business decisions and identifying areas for improvement and optimization.

A. Making informed business decisions based on the data
  • Visualizing data distribution

    Histograms provide a visual representation of the distribution of data, allowing for a quick and easy understanding of where the majority of data falls within a given range. This can help in making decisions based on patterns and trends within the data.

  • Identifying outliers

    By using a histogram, outliers within the data can be easily identified, helping in making decisions about whether these outliers should be considered in the analysis or be treated separately.

  • Determining optimal ranges

    With the help of a histogram, optimal ranges for decision-making can be identified based on the distribution of data, thereby allowing for more informed and strategic business decisions.

B. Identifying areas for improvement and optimization
  • Spotting areas of high or low frequency

    A histogram can help in identifying areas where the data is clustered in high or low frequency, enabling businesses to focus on these areas for improvement or optimization.

  • Understanding performance metrics

    By plotting performance metrics on a histogram, businesses can gain a clear understanding of where they stand in comparison to certain benchmarks, thus allowing for targeted efforts towards improvement.

  • Identifying patterns and trends

    Histograms can reveal patterns and trends within the data, which can be used to identify areas for improvement, optimization, and strategic decision-making.


Creating histograms in Excel is important for visualizing the distribution of data and identifying patterns and trends. It allows for a quick and easy way to analyze large sets of data, making it a valuable tool for professionals in various fields. By utilizing histograms, users can make informed decisions based on a clear understanding of their data. We highly encourage the use of histograms in Excel for effective data analysis and decision making.

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