Basic charts can go a long way. Bar and pie charts, histograms, and scatter plots are very simple to make inside of Excel. First you will need to have the top row of each column be different variable names for your desired graph.
The first column will need to be strictly categorical. Examples of categorical data values are: months, years, sex, names, a word, brands, IDs, eras and more. There can be multiple categorical variables in your data set. Similarly, the other variables(columns) need to be strictly quantitative, or a numerical value. Make sure that the selected data has at least one categorical and one quantitative variable selected per chart.
Once the data has been collected, highlight the desired data and click on the insert tab.
Once the chart has been made, right-click on the chart itself to format it. You can change the interval on the bottom axis, the color, data range, and position of the title and key.
The images below demonstrate some charts and their data. This logic can be applied to all of the other charts. If you have any other questions regarding Excel, Microsoft has a visual tutorial explaining the chart features.
Above is a random data set pulled from RAWGraphs. The data is highlighted in different colors which indicate they are being used for different parts of the chart. The purple is the categorical data values whereas the blue are quantitative. The red highlighted cells correspond to the key on the charts displayed below.
Now that you know the necessary components, all you need to do is highlight the data and select the chart you would like to display your data with. To customize it, right click on the chart and click “Format Chart.”
Excel charts are not as customizable as other options discussed further on. A very useful aspect of excel charts though is how easy the charts are to export.
To export the chart as an image on a Mac, right-click on the chart and select “to make an image.”
On a PC, there are a few more steps. First, you will need to copy the chart, and then either paste it as a picture into Microsoft Word. You should then be able to save as a picture/png from there.
Both of these charts are using the same data and showing the same result; one just may be easier to read than the other.
If you are trying to paste data into a spreadsheet and it is not quite working, this button (under the data tab)could resolve the issue.