Programs: Microsoft Excel: Lesson #6

Lesson #6: In this lesson we will address the creation of charts with multiple data series.
The main topics of this lesson are:
  • Definition
  • Displaying
  • Side-by-Side Column
  • Stacked Column Chart
  • Graphing Multiple Data Series
Lesson #6: Dealing with multiple data series
Topic # 1 Definition

nAlthough making charts with single data charts is very quick and easy, real life examples often require multiple data series to be displayed.  Refer to the chart to the left.  A time you might use multiple data series would be in this situation: imagine you have data for zoo animals in 4 different cities.  There are 5 types of animals in each city and you need to graph the info.
Multiple data series is used to show multiple categories within one overall category
Topic # 2 Displaying


The graphs to display multiple data series data can appear as side by side columns (top picture to your left) or they can be stacked on top of each other (bottom picture to your left). 
It is always difficult to decide which to use : the rows or the columns grouping. Although both graph the same information, it is reversed. It depends on your message and what you would like emphasized!
In the case with animals in the zoo we will probably want to use the side by side to emphasize the difference in numbers of each animal per city.
Topic # 3 Side-by-Side Column
The side by side column is used for comparisons. It graphs multi-series data points along the x-axis allowing the reader to look at each graph individually.
Topic # 4 Stacked Column Chart
A stacked column chart is often used for comparisons. It emphasizes data by stacking categories.
Topic # 5 Graphing Multiple Data Series


To graph the multiple data series, highlight ALL of the desired Data in your worksheet as shown on the top picture adjacent to this and follow the instructions in Lesson 3. Pay attention to rows/columns in step 2. Your chart should be similar to the lower picture adjacent to this.

Lesson Review

In this lesson we covered the following the creation of charts with multiple data series.  It will be very useful since most of the data is comprised of several different categories.

The main topics of this lesson that you learned were:

  • The definition of multiple data series
  • How to display this information using side-by-side columns or stacked columns
  • What exactly side-by-side columns are
  • What exactly stacked columns are
  • How to graphing Multiple Data Series

back to lesson #5

continue to lesson #7

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Programs: Microsoft Excel: Lesson #6