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How to Create Bar Charts and Do Exploratory Analysis in Excel

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A bar chart is extremely effective to visualize data. They are more commonly used because they allow the viewer to recognize patterns or trends far more easily than looking at a table of numerical data. According to Sciencing, Rachelle Dragani explains that bar graphs have been widely exposed everywhere from textbooks to newspapers that most audiences understand how to read a bar graph and can grasp the information it conveys. Not only are bar charts simple to create, easy to interpret, but they are a flexible chart type. There are several variations of the standard bar chart such as: horizontal bar charts, grouped or component charts, stacked bar charts, and other complex bar charts. Additionally, bar charts are purposely used to compare items between different groups.

Horizontal Bar Chart

The following shows different popular colors and the percentages each received as a horizontal bar chart. The standard vertical and horizontal don’t have too many differences, it is more just personal preference.

Chart taken from Engineering Blog Eventbrite.
This chart is from DataVizProject.
Chart taken from DevExpress.

Grouped Bar Charts

This graph shows each experience category and where they appear in terms of how much they make.

Stacked Bar Charts

This photo shows where each OS is over the years as a stacked bar chart.

If, Then, What

Conditional statements come in handy whenever there’s a situation of something is true (action/value is triggered) or false (different action/value is triggered). A condition is a comparison between two values – where one or both values can be cell references. The possible conditions are:

  • Equal (=)
  • Unequal (<>)
  • Less than (<)
  • Greater than (>)
  • Less than or equal to (<=)
  • Greater than or equal to (>=)

The Convenience of VLookup

Need to pull information from a table to a different Excel sheet? VLookup is the perfect solution! This Excel function can lookup and retrieve data from a specific column in a table.

For a deeper understanding, check out the video How to Create Bar Charts and Do Exploratory Analysis in Excel. This quick video goes through step by step analysis on how to create a bar chart, conditional if then statements, and vlookup.

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