Excel Radar Chart: An All-in Guideline

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In this article, you will learn the creation, formatting, interpretation, and advantages and limitations of an Excel radar chart.

We will explore how to create various types of radar charts, including the basic radar chart, radar with markers, and the visually impactful filled radar chart. We will also see the customization options to enhance the appearance of your charts and provide clear visualization.

Moreover, you will understand the significance of radar chart elements such as the lengths of spokes and positioning of data points to draw valuable insights from your data.

We will discuss the advantages of using radar charts, including their ability to facilitate comparative analysis and simplify complex data communication.

Following that, we will also address the limitations of radar charts to help you make informed decisions when selecting appropriate data visualization methods.

Overview of Excel Radar Chart


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Introduction to Radar Chart

A radar chart is a type of graph that shows information about different things or categories all at once. It looks like a spider web with lines going out from the center. Each line represents a different category, like price or quality and the length of the line shows how much of that category exists.

It is commonly used to compare and analyze multiple variables or categories simultaneously. They are particularly effective for showcasing patterns, strengths, and weaknesses across different data points.


Create Radar Chart in Excel

There are 3 types of radar charts in Excel. They are:

  • Basic Radar Chart
  • Radar with Markers
  • Filled Radar Chart

Let’s see how we can create them in Excel.


1. Basic Radar Chart

Creating a basic radar chart is easy and straightforward.

  • Select the dataset of range B4:D10 to create a radar chart.
  • Then, go to the Insert tab >> select the down arrow icon (shown in the image) to get all the available charts.

Creating Basic Radar Chart

  • The Insert Chart box window will appear.
  • Go to the All Charts tab >> select the Radar option >> choose the first chart >> click OK.

Selecting Basic Radar Chart

The second chart is the one with markers and the subsequent one is the filled radar chart.

  • On clicking OK and Excel will create a basic radar chart for you.

Basic Radar Chart


2. Radar with Markers

If you choose the second chart from the Radar chart options, Excel will create a Radar with Markers chart.

Radar with Markers

One striking contrast between this chart and the basic one is that your peripheral points will be marked here clearly.


3. Filled Radar Chart

The 3rd chart available in the radar chart options represents a Filled Radar chart. You can select the 3rd option to insert a filled radar chart. It will look like this.

Filled Radar Chart

The areas between the data points and the center are filled with color in this chart, creating a solid one.

Read More: How to Make a Radar Chart in Excel


Formatting Radar Chart

Excel will create the radar charts in the most unprocessed format. So, you will definitely need to format the charts. However, it is important to know that there is no hard and fast rule for formatting a chart. You can format a chart the way you desire. Hence, I will show you some of the tasks pertaining to radar chart formatting.

I am going to do the following tasks.

  • Changing the title
  • Removing axis
  • Deleting category labels
  • Changing chart style
  • Adding data labels

Let’s do them sequentially.

  • First, change the title. Click on the title bar to activate the editing mode and give the chart a name. I am going to call it Target Vs Actual Sales.

Changing titles

  • Then, select the axis >> press the Delete key.

Deleting axis

  • See the below image, where the axis is deleted.

Deleted Axis

  • In a similar fashion, select the category labels.
  • Then, press the Delete key to remove the category labels.

Deleting Category Levels

Now, let’s focus on changing the chart style.

  • Select the chart >> go to the Chart Design tab. This tab will be available once you select the chart.
  • Then, select Quick Styles >> choose the style you prefer.

Changing Chart Styles

  • Excel has the style of the chart. Now, let’s add data labels.
  • Go to the Chart Design tab >> select Add Chart Element >> go to Data Labels >> select Data Callout option.

Adding Data Callouts

  • Excel data labels. Resize the chart area and reorganize the labels to give your chart a tidy look.

Resizing the chart


Setting Max Value for Radar Chart

Now, let’s customize the axis values at our convenience. You see, the value ranges from 0 to 20000 by default in this chart. But, we do not want this range. To change the range,

  • First, add the axis to your chart >> select the Axes from the Chart Elements box.

Changing Axes values

  • Then, press CTRL + 1 to bring the Format Axis bar to the right side of the Excel sheet.
  • After that, set your ranges in the Axis Options field. I have set the Minimum value at 5000.00 and the Maximum value at 20000.00.

Selecting Ranges

  • Excel will modify the chart for you.

Max and Min Values Changed

Read More: How to Create Excel Radar Chart Max Value


Understanding Radar Chart

Let’s understand what a radar chart explains using this dataset. In this case, the radar chart can help us analyze the performance of various products in terms of their target sales and actual sales.

Explaining Radar Chart

You can assess the performance of each product by comparing the lengths of the spokes and the position of the corresponding actual sales points. If the actual sales point is close to the target sales point, it suggests that the product is performing well.

However, if the actual sales point is significantly lower than the target sales point, it indicates that the product is falling short of its sales target.

For example, the target sales for laptops were $16,411, but the actual sales were $13,284. In the radar chart, the spoke representing laptops would have an actual sales point noticeably lower than the target sales point. This suggests that laptops fell short of their sales target.

On the contrary, the target sales for smartphones were $13,746, and the actual sales were $15,803. In the radar chart, the spoke representing smartphones would have the actual sales point higher than the target sales point. This indicates that smartphones exceeded their sales target.


Advantages of Radar Chart

Radar charts in Excel have several benefits that make them useful for data analysis:

  • Easy Comparison: Radar charts let you compare different things or categories quickly. You can see how they stack up against each other and identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Showing Multiple Factors: Radar charts can display multiple factors or attributes at the same time. Instead of using separate charts, you can put all the information into one radar chart, making it easier to understand.
  • Clear Visuals: Radar charts have a unique shape that makes it easy to see the data. The lines or filled areas show the values clearly and help you to grasp the information without confusion.
  • Highlighting Differences: Radar charts are effective in highlighting differences between target values and actual values. You can easily see where performance exceeds or falls short of the targets.
  • Customization Options: Excel allows you to customize radar charts to fit your preferences. You can change colors, labels, and other elements to make the chart more visually appealing and easier to interpret.

In summary, radar charts in Excel provide a simple and effective way to analyze data, compare categories, and communicate insights clearly.


Limitations of Radar Chart

While Excel radar charts offer several advantages, they also have some limitations to be aware of:

  • Limited Data Points: Excel radar charts work best with a moderate number of categories. Too many categories can make the chart look messy and hard to understand.
  • Limited Customization Options: Excel has fewer choices for customizing radar charts. You may find it challenging to change the appearance or format of the chart to your specific needs.
  • Interpretation Challenges: Radar charts, including those in Excel, can be confusing for people who are not familiar with them. The unique design and way of showing data may need some explanation for everyone to understand.

Things to Remember

  • Don’t use more than two variables because it can confuse users and make it harder to understand and draw conclusions.
  • Use light colors in the background to make the chart more interesting and colorful.
  • Different line styles grab users’ attention and make the chart more attractive.
  • Arrange the data in a clear and organized way to make it easy to read and understand.
  • Make the spider web bigger so that it’s easier to see and understand the information.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many variables can I include in an Excel radar chart?

Ans: It is generally recommended to include up to two or three variables in an Excel radar chart to avoid overwhelming the chart and making it harder to interpret.

2. How can I interpret an Excel radar chart?

Ans: To interpret an Excel radar chart, compare the lengths of the spokes and the position of the data points along each spoke. Longer spokes indicate higher values.

3. Can I use radar charts for trend analysis over time?

Ans: Radar charts are not the most suitable choice for displaying trends over time. Line charts or other chart types are generally better for visualizing time-based data.


Conclusion

In summary, this article has been a complete guide to Excel radar charts. You will learn how to create and format different types of radar charts, understand what the elements represent, and discussed the benefits and limitations they have.

Radar charts are useful for comparing data and making complex information easier to understand. By being aware of their limitations, we can make better decisions when choosing how to visualize data.

With this knowledge, we can confidently use radar charts in Excel to improve our data analysis and create engaging visualizations.


Excel Radar Chart: Knowledge Hub


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Akib Bin Rashid
Akib Bin Rashid

AKIB BIN RASHID, a materials and metallurgical engineer, is passionate about delving into Excel and VBA programming. To him, programming is a valuable time-saving tool for managing data, files, and internet-related tasks. Proficient in MS Office, AutoCAD, Excel, and VBA, he goes beyond the fundamentals. Holding a B.Sc in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, MD AKIB has transitioned into a content development role. Specializing in creating technical content centred around Excel and... Read Full Bio

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