This data set has a standard list of date outputs, followed by a percentage and a category. We’re going to want to make it easy to understand what categories these percentages are coming from, which means either labeling them or making them look different. Ideally, we want to make it easy to tell at a glance, which means color coding is better than labels.
Another thing to consider, is the fact that the dates are not uniformly distributed… This means that if we just put together a standard chart with a date on the x-axis, there will be a lot of white space where there isn’t any data. This makes it harder to read, so unless you are trying to extrapolate a trend or do some other time series, it is probably good to get rid of the gaps in the data.
We’ll keep these two things in mind as we build our chart…
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Andrew Roberts has been solving business problems with Microsoft Excel for over a decade. Excel Tactics is dedicated to helping you master it. You can read more of his writing on his personal blog at NapkinMath.io.
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Other posts in this series...
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- Build a Better, Cleaner, More Professional Line Chart
- How To Add an Average Value Line to a Bar Chart
- How to Add a Vertical Line to a Horizontal Bar Chart
- How to Add Totals to Stacked Charts for Readability
- How to Show Percentages in Stacked Bar and Column Charts
- Building Charts with Multiple Series and Custom X-Axis
- How to Create Waterfall Charts in Excel