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Creating bullet charts in Excel can be a bit tricky. This slidedeck lays out a step-by-step approach to creating bullet charts in Excel. The approach was first made public by Jorge Camoes (http://www.excelcharts.com/blog/easy-way-make-bullet-charts-boxplots-excel/). An alternative version was published in early 2011 by Jon Peltier (http://peltiertech.com/WordPress/how-to-make-horizontal-bullet-graphs-in-excel/). The Excel file is available on my website (http://policyviz.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-making-bullet-charts-in-excel).

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Bullet Charts in Excel


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    a step by step guide to making bullet charts

    A Step-by-Step

    Guide to Making

    Bullet Charts in Excel

    Bullet Charts in Excel

    A Step-by-Step

    Guide to Making

    Jonathan Schwabish

    @jschwabish

    here is the bullet chart we will make

    Here is the bullet chart we will make.

    Bullet charts are made up of four main parts:

    1. Background fill colors encode ranges

    (for example, low, medium, and high)

    2. Label

    3. Bar shows actual

    performance

    4. Marker shows

    target performance

       

    step 1 the bullet chart is created from

    Step 1. The bullet chart is created from a scatterplot. To start,

    set up your data with one column that will serve as the y-axis

    values and separate columns for each of the series in the chart.

    Start with a connected scatterplot with the first series (Low).

    step 5 go to the line style menu we will make

    Step 5. Go to the ‘Line Style’ menu. We will make two

    changes here. First, change the width to, say, 12 pt.

    step 6 second change the cap type to flat

    Step 6. Second, change the ‘Cap Type’ to ‘Flat’.

    It’s important to use Flat because this brings the

    line right to the data points.

    step 8 repeat the process for the other series

    Step 8. Repeat the process for the other series. Make

    the ‘Actual’ series a slightly thinner width, say, 5 pt.

    step 9 you can change the outline color

    Step 9. You can change the Outline color on all the series

    to the colors you choose. (Note that because these are

    lines, you will use the Outline color, not the Fill color.)

    step 10 we ll now make three changes to the label

    Step 10. We’ll now make three changes to the label the

    chart (using the “Unit, 2012” series). First, add a data

    label; second, align it to the left; and third, set the

    marker to ‘None’.

    step 11 you can then modify the y axis scale

    Step 11. You can then modify the y-axis scale

    to center the chart in the graph space.

    step 13 now delete the legend axes and gridlines

    Step 13. Now delete the legend, axes, and gridlines.

    You are left with a nice, single bullet chart

    you can add other bullet charts by adding more

    You can add other bullet charts by adding

    more data and repeating the process.

    1st series

    2nd series

    you can also change the shape of the target level

    You can also change the shape of the Target level—say, to

    a vertical line—by drawing a line in your worksheet and

    then copying and pasting it directly onto the ‘Target’.

    and now you have two bullet charts

    And now you have

    two bullet charts.

    Unit,  2013

    Unit,  2012

    attributions

    Attributions

    The method presented here was first made public

    by Jorge Camoes. For an alternative approach, see

    Jon Peltier. Textured background from Chris Spooner.

    Excel file is available here.

    Jonathan Schwabish

    @jschwabish