#Office365Challenge – Combo Charts in Excel. Now let’s just take a step back. I’ve always thought I’m “kinda ok” with Excel. I’m not. I suck at it. I cannot believe there is so much I don’t know. Every blog I’ve written I’ve had to go research first. I’m specifically referring to Charts, Tours, Reports, Sparklines, Filters and don’t even get me started on PowerPivots. Excel is one mean, powerful, mother of data and stuff. Wow! You thought Excel was all about formulas? Think again. From now on I think we all should write Excel in capitals “EXCEL” as it truly deserves to be put on a pedestal.

Day: 108 of 365, 257 left
Tools: Excel
Description: Creating Combo Charts in Excel

So what is a Combo Chart? “When the numbers in a chart you created vary widely from data series to data series, or when you have mixed types of data (for example, price and volume), you can plot one or more data series on a secondary vertical (value) axis. The scale of the secondary vertical axis shows the values for the associated data series. A secondary axis works well in a chart that shows a combination of column and line charts.” Create a combo chart with a secondary axis, thanks Microsoft.

The charts you create in Excel will only be as good as the data you work with. This has made my blogs a little bit difficult as I’m trying to use “generic” data and that doesn’t quite work everywhere. If you’d like to learn / practice some of these charts, the Information is Beautiful site has some great data to share that you can use.

To insert the chart, click on Insert (1), Charts > Combo chart (2):

I’ve gone to Create Custom Combo Chart to configure my chart:

In this example I’ve inserted another line on my data called “Expense budget” (1), which is the average expense budget per month. Here you’ll have the ability to set the line (2) you would like to use across the chart, I’ve set it as a Line Chart (3). All the other lines must be set to Clustered Column (4). You can configure these to any type of chart, I’ve left them on Column charts (5). You can also set your line chart as the secondary axis here:

This is what my chart looks like now after a bit of styling:

Now look guys, I haven’t scratched the surface when it comes to these charts, and hopefully I’ll revisit these in depth later (once I’ve learned more).

See you tomorrow for Scatter and Bubble Charts.

Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but where applicable, to the overall Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.