Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing the Right Chart Type
INSIDE OUT Swap the axes to tell a different story
Sometimes all you need is a slightly different angle to see a completely different
picture. Clicking the Switch Row/Column button, in the Data group on the Design tab, is
a particularly effective way of looking at column charts from a different perspective.
The command name is misleading: what it really does is swap the data series associated
with the horizontal and vertical axes. The column chart in Figure 13-6 on the
previous page, for example, looks at four regions over time, emphasizing the trend for each
region. If you click Switch Row/Column, the data series that make up the clustered
columns are swapped, and you get the revised chart shown here:
At first glance, the chart looks similar to the earlier arrangement. But the story it tells
is different, emphasizing differences over time, with one region dominating in the first
year, but with a much narrower gap between the leaders just three years later. Which
arrangement you choose depends on which story you want to communicate.
The other main variation in this chart type is the stacked column chart, which combines
data from different series into a single column that emphasizes the relationship of
individual items to the total. If your data series includes several similar totals and you want
to emphasize a percentage change in one or more individual components, use a 100%
stacked chart, as shown in Figure 13-7.