An area chart is a graphical representation of data that is displayed as a series of shaded areas. In essence, it’s a combination of a line chart and a bar chart. The height of each area is proportional to the magnitude of the data values that are represented. The area chart is similar to the line chart, except that the area chart displays data as a series of filled-in areas rather than as a series of lines. Continue reading to learn more about this useful data visualization tool.
What should you keep in mind when using area charts?
When it comes to how to use an area chart, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Make sure the data you are plotting is evenly distributed over time. This will ensure that the area chart is correctly rendered and that the changes in magnitude are correctly represented.
2. Use an area chart when you want to compare the magnitude of data points over time. An area chart makes it easy to see how the data changes over time, and it can be helpful for highlighting trends.
3. Use caution when plotting a large number of data points over time. An area chart can become quite busy and difficult to read if there are too many data points. Try to limit the number of data points you plot to around 10-15 to ensure that the chart is still easy to read.
Choose the type of area chart to use.
There are many different types of area charts to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most appropriate type of area chart to use depends on the type of data you are trying to represent.
One of the most common types of area charts is the stacked area chart. A stacked area chart is ideal for displaying how different parts of a whole contribute to the whole. For example, you could use a stacked area chart to show how different sales regions contribute to total sales.
Determine the appropriate scale for the data.
When creating an area chart, it is important to determine the appropriate scale for the data. This will ensure that the data is accurately represented and that the chart is easy to read. To determine the appropriate scale, consider the range of values in the data and the size of the chart.
If the data is spread out over a wide range, it will be necessary to use a large scale to properly represent it. If the data is concentrated in a small range, a small scale can be used. Additionally, the size of the chart should be considered. If the chart is going to be small, it will need a smaller scale than a large chart.
Once the appropriate scale is determined, it can be used to create the chart. The data is plotted on the x-axis and the y-axis, and the scale is used to determine the size of the area between the data points.
Create your own area chart.
To create an area chart in Excel, you will first need to create a table of data with at least two columns. The first column will contain the data points that you want to graph, and the second column will contain the corresponding values. Once your table is set up, select the data you want to graph and insert an area chart.
Excel will automatically create a default area chart, but you can customize it by adjusting the chart’s properties. For example, you can change the chart’s title, add gridlines, or change the color of the rectangles. You can also add a legend to help identify the data points. When you’re finished customizing your chart, you can save it as a template so that you can use it again in the future.
To create an area chart quickly, you can use the following steps:
1. Click on the Insert tab, and then click on the Area chart button.
2. Select the data that you want to include in the chart.
3. Click on the OK button.
4. The area chart will be inserted into your document.
Overall, area charts are a great way to visualize how a value changes over time. They are especially effective when used with multiple data points, as they can easily show how each value compares to the others.