How to Create a Sunburst Chart in Excel (With Detailed Steps)

Introduction to Sunburst Charts

A Sunburst chart is a powerful visualization tool for displaying hierarchical data in a circular format. It resembles the sun’s rays or the rings of a tree. Each ring of the chart represents a level in the hierarchy. Here’s what you need to know about Sunburst Charts:

Sunburst Chart in Excel

  • Purpose: Sunburst charts help visualize the proportionate distribution of data categories using color and size.
  • Hierarchy: The innermost circle represents the main categories, while outer segments represent subcategories or levels within those main categories.
  • Ordering: Data in a Sunburst chart is sorted from largest to smallest amount clockwise by default.
Overview of Sunburst Chart in Excel

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  • Data Preparation:
    • Ensure your data is organized hierarchically.
    • For example, consider term final results of students, where each student has scores distributed across different terms.
  • Calculate Total Students:
    • To find the total number of students combining all term final results, use the formula:

Calculating Totals of All Students

  • Remark on Performance:
    • Insert the following formula to remark on student performance:
    • Press Enter.

Remarking Exam Performances

  • Insert the Sunburst Chart:
    • Click on the Sunburst option under the Insert tab (available in Excel 2016 and later versions).
    • The Sunburst chart will appear in your worksheet.
Command Sequence to Generate Sunburst Chart in Excel

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  • Customize Appearance:
    • Go to the Chart Design tab and select your preferred design from the ribbon.
Changing the Sunburst Chart Style

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  • We created a Sunburst Chart quite easily.

Sunburst Chart in Excel

Read More: How to Insert Sunburst Chart in Excel

Important Notes:

  • Selection:
    • Keep a cell selected inside the table while generating the Sunburst Chart.
    • If you don’t select the generated chart, the Chart Design tab won’t appear for design changes.
  • Manual Data Update:
    • If chart data doesn’t update automatically with underlying data changes, right-click on the chart and select Edit Data to redirect it manually.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Difference Between Sunburst and Treemap Charts:
    • Both explain hierarchical patterns.
    • Sunburst: Central circle with concentric rings.
    • Treemap: Divides area into nested rectangles.
  2. Use of Sunburst Diagram in Excel:
    • Display hierarchical data relationships (e.g., population across cities, states, countries, continents).
    • Useful for analyzing industry firm details.
  3. Components of a Sunburst Chart:
    • Inner circle (main categories) surrounded by outer rings (subcategories).

Sunburst Chart in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Naimul Hasan Arif
Naimul Hasan Arif

Naimul Hasan Arif, a BUET graduate in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, has been contributing to the ExcelDemy project for nearly two years. Currently serving as an Excel and VBA Content Developer, Arif has written more than 120 articles and has also provided user support through comments His expertise lies in Microsoft Office Suite, VBA and he thrives on learning new aspects of data analysis. Arif's dedication to the ExcelDemy project is reflected in his consistent contributions and... Read Full Bio

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