14+ Chart Examples & Templates
You may not have noticed it before, but charts have slowly become a significant part of our everyday lives. They can be used to interpret data for a research paper or to create a visual representation of the data gathered for a market analysis. Professionals in the academic and healthcare industries even use different kinds of charts to guide their students or patients with their daily activities.
But with the many chart examples and types available, how can you determine which ones to use during specific circumstances?
Essential Elements of a Chart
If you were asked to define a chart for all that it is, what would you say?
There are many different components of a chart that each serve a unique purpose in the delivery of a message. This will help you clarify your data for its intended audience to understand. To do so, an average chart is typically comprised of the following elements:
- Series – When a related group of data points are plotted on the chart, it creates a series. The number and manner of which the series is displayed would mostly depend on the chart type being made.
- Chart Area – The rectangular space where the series, labels, axes, and grid lines are drawn is called the chart area. It is possible for multiple series to be plotted in one area of the chart, depending on the chart type specified.
- Plot Area – Within the chart area, you may find a rectangular space that is used to plot the series and grid lines. Anything other than those mentioned are drawn outside of the plotting area, such as the labels, tick marks, and axes titles.
- Title – The chart must have a title for readers to be guided.
- Axis Label – This is a label on an axis that is generated automatically if no custom labels are provided.
- Axis Title – This is used to describe what the axis represents.
- Legend – The legend serves as a guide for readers to know what is being represented by each item on the chart.
- Grid Lines – These lines may either be horizontal or vertical in form, and often occur in conjunction with tick marks.
- Tick Marks – These are the marks on the axes which often occur in conjunction with grid lines.
- Label – This is added to describe a data point.
- Chart Picture – This refers to the entire image that is produced for viewers to analyze, which is usually after each element has already been considered.
14+ Chart Templates
Business Growth Chart Template
Company Organization Chart Template
Department Org Chart Template
Gadget Comparison Chart Template
Gantt Chart of Daily Subjects Template
Organizational Chart Template
Process Chart Template
Sales Excel Chart Template
Tally Chart Template
Timeline Chart Template
Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Chart
Census Data on Educational Attainment Chart
Percentage Increases in STEM Jobs Chart
Products from Barrel Crude Oil Chart
Renewable Resources Chart
How to Create a Chart in MS Excel
Your manager asks you to prepare a presentation for a meeting with a couple of clients next week. You decide to create a short report to keep it quick and simple. However, a wordy narrative is the last thing your clients would want to deal with during the entire duration of your meeting. So instead, your manager suggests to visualize your data in such a way that leaves a maximum impact on your audience.
One of the easiest ways to do is to use a chart.
Learn how you can create a chart in Microsoft Excel with the steps listed below:
Step 1: Select the necessary data for the chart.
Step 2: Click on Insert > Recommended Charts.
Step 3: Choose a chart on the Recommended Charts tab to see a preview of the chart. You can also choose from other chart options by selecting the All Charts tab to see all chart types.
Step 4: Select the chart you need.
Step 5: Click OK.
Simple Tips to Create a Good Chart Layout
Now that we have covered the basics of chart-making, it’s time to find out how you can enhance the look of your chart layout for better delivery.
- Take away the noise from the chart’s background. Some chart types come with grid lines that, while may seem useful in interpreting your data, can sometimes appear distracting in the final output. Fortunately, you could easily get rid of these grid lines by changing the formatting options of your chart. This allows you to eliminate the unwanted noise in the background for a clean-cut layout.
- Position the legend at the bottom. By default, Excel positions the legend of your chart to the right of the image. Although this may already be an acceptable format, you might want to consider transferring it to the top of the frame, or below if the top portion seems a bit too crowded. A 12pt font size is highly recommended as well.
- Omit legends with a single data series. There’s no point in using a legend if you’re only going to show one metric on the chart. By mentioning the metric in your title, readers would already know what it stands for.
- Include a descriptive title. A title basically pulls the whole thing together. It makes everything you’re trying to communicate a lot clearer for your audience to understand. It’s best to position your title above the plotting area to make it the first thing that people notice.
- Sort out data accordingly. Don’t make it any harder for people to read and interpret your data. A chart that contains unsorted data is often messy and confusing to understand. If you’re showing something sequential, it’s best to order your data chronologically. You can also develop a pattern that presents your data in a descending order with the most significant item first.
Types of Charts
There are different types of charts that are best suited for certain circumstances. To identify which chart type to use, you must consider what you want your readers to take away from the information being presented to them.
1. Vertical Bar Charts
This type of chart is perfect for comparing data that are grouped by discrete categories. Each bar shown in the chart is separated by a blank space to indicate that there is no inherent order to these groups, which, in this case, should consist of less than ten items.
2. Horizontal Bar Charts
Horizontal bar charts are a lot similar to their vertical counterpart, except that they are commonly used when the number of categories are greater than ten or so. It’s also a better option if the labels of each category are quite longer in length, as it is much easier to read if they are displayed in a proper orientation.
3. Pie Charts
Pie charts are a great choice for when you want to understand the parts of a whole. Pieces of the pie usually follow an order according to their specific sizes, and when added up, they amount to a total of 100%.
Because of how they look, these charts can make learning a lot more fun and easy for viewers to read.
4. Line Charts
Line charts are often used to display resulting data that are relative to a continuous variable, similar to that of time and money. Many marketers use these charts to project their performance over a period of time. Say for instance, you can use this to show how much your business has made over the past year for your annual sales report. By doing so, you could easily identify any trends that may be useful for your next strategy.
5. Scatter Plot
A scatter plot chart is typically used to convey the relationship between two different variables. The pattern generated from the data points plotted indicates a possible correlation between the two items. If it creates a band extending from the lower left to the upper right area of the chart, a positive correlation is likely to exist. If the band runs from the upper left to the lower right area, then a negative correlation is more probable. Otherwise, there might not be a relationship at all.
6. Area Charts
An area chart is fairly similar to a line chart, except that the space between the x-axis and the line created is filled with a particular pattern or color to indicate the area covered. This way, you can evaluate both the overall and individual trend information more effectively.
You might have noticed how some people manage to combine a vertical bar chart with a line chart to present their data. These visually interesting type of charts are referred to as histograms. Here, continuous variable shown on the x-axis is broken down into distinct intervals in which the number of data found in this interval determines the exact height of the bar. This is most ideal for illustrating distributions of your data for readers to grasp.
Since charts usually vary depending on their respective type and the amount of information they hold, it’s safe to say that there is no standard size for a chart. However, you do have the option to resize the chart to your own preference with the software (MS Excel, Word, etc.) being used.
Have any more concerns you’d want to address? Check out some of these frequently asked questions regarding charts:
How can I make a chart?
You can either create a chart by hand or with an online or offline software. There are many software tools that can make your chart-making experience an easy task to accomplish in mere minutes. All you would have to do is to create your chart manually, or with the help of a ready-made template. And to your luck, you can find several chart templates in this article and all over the Internet for a more efficient approach.
What is the purpose of a chart?
Charts give you the opportunity to present significant data from a research in a way that is easy to comprehend. This serves as the perfect way to condense large amounts of information into a more simplified format for your audience to analyze a lot better.
Why are charts important?
Imagine if charts never existed. How can you draw attention toward significant facts and statistics without a visual representation of such? As humans, we are visual beings who rely on pictures and illustrations to remain attentive and engaged. Since numbers and symbols aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite thing in the world, using a chart to translate your findings is a great learning technique for most individuals.
So what are you waiting for? Use a chart to present your acquired data to an audience with the help of these chart templates and examples!