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# Excel data in pie charts

Posted on 2013-06-06
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In Excel I can easily make a 3-d pie chart following the help in the application. But I need to add more data values to the chart and cant seem to know how to do that.

If I select 2 columns of data for example:

Sandwiches      40
Soup                          15
Beverages       9
Desserts                         15

That will put it into a pie chart and have the coorosponding percentages. Bbut I need more than just the percentages, I also need another value. How do I add it?
I tried makeing 3 colums, as the 3rd column being the additional data but it wont make a pie chart.
Thanks.
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Question by:tolinrome

LVL 7

Expert Comment

ID: 39226731
This is a limitation of the type of chart you are using. A pie chart is a percentage chart, so only one series of data will be used in the chart.

You have to pick a different type of chart to use multiple columns.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 39226732
If you right click you can modify the data labels. percentage is a standard option so you could have your data displayed in column 2 and add % via the data label format.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

ID: 39226897
I tried both ways in both responses but couldnt seem to get it to work.

What I need is:

Column A     Column B       Column C
Server 1          30%                   129GB
Server 2          17%                   23GB
Server 3           28%                  12GB

Just like that above.
0

LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39227028
In your example above, what does Col B even represent?  Can't be percent of the whole, because based on Col C, Server 1 should have ~80% of the whole.

Let's take a step back.  Please describe, in a few sentences, what it is that you are trying to visualize.  That will help us understand whether a pie chart even makes sense for your situation.

(Not to mention that most data visualization experts discourage use of pie charts generally, as most of the time there are better ways to represent your data anyway...)
0

LVL 7

Author Comment

ID: 39227093
ok, thanks. Those percentage and GB numbers werent meant to be accurate, just an example of what I wish to present.

I have 3 columns, one is the folder name, one is the Gigabytes (datasize) of the folder, and the 3rd is the percentage of that data in the folder.

Other than pie charts or bar graphs, what other ways are best to present the data according to the data visualization experts?
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LVL 7

Author Comment

ID: 39227127
Youre right, bar graphs look better
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

Patrick Matthews earned 500 total points
ID: 39227518

Q-28149974.xlsx

If you want to go with a pie chart, you do not need the percent column: Excel will automatically size the segments in the chart such that the area of each segment is proportional to that item's share of the total.  If you add data labels for a pie chart, there are options that allow you to show the value and/or percentage share.

I would go with a column chart, although this does mean you would need a percentage column.  In my example column chart, I changed the formatting for the Pct series to use no fill and no border, but I did show the data table so you could see the value and percentage share.

There are a number of reasons why pie charts are bad.  Here are some of them:
The human visual system is just not very good at comparing the relative sizes of segments of a circle
Once you have more than 2 segments, pie charts can be hard to read
Do not even think about using a 3-d pie chart!
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 39230604
Excellent. Graphs\Bar charts are way better than pie.
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