Welcome back to part three of our series on combining histograms in Excel. In the previous two parts, we walked through creating histograms and bar charts for two different data sets related to heights. Now, in this part, we’ll learn how to combine these histograms onto a single chart and explore some formatting options to make them visually appealing.
Setting Up in Excel: Before we dive into the process, let’s quickly recap where we left off. We have two data sets, one for men and one for women, both representing heights. We’ve created histograms and bar charts for each of these data sets. Now, our goal is to combine these two charts into one to make meaningful comparisons.
Combining the Data Sets: To start, we’ll combine our two data sets into one. This involves stacking the data on top of each other. Here’s how you can do it:
- Copy the entire data set for the heights (both men and women).
- Paste it beside the existing data, creating a new column for the second data set.
Now, you have one large data set with both sets of heights stacked together. However, creating a histogram directly from this combined data would not be suitable as it would result in a merged, less informative chart.
Creating the Combined Histogram: To create a combined histogram, we must ensure that both data sets use the same bucket sizes. Here’s how you can align them:
- Copy the buckets from one of your data sets (men or women).
- Paste these buckets over the corresponding buckets in the other data set, ensuring they line up correctly.
By doing this, you ensure that both data sets are using the same bucket sizes, which is essential for meaningful comparison.
Creating the Combined Chart: Now, it’s time to create a combined chart with both data sets. We’ll use Excel’s charting tools to achieve this:
- Select the entire data set, including the buckets and results.
- Go to the “Insert” tab, navigate to the “Charts” group, and choose a bar chart.
This will generate a chart that combines both data sets. However, at this point, it might appear as if the data sets are merged together into a single histogram.
Separating Data Sets: To distinguish between the two data sets on the chart, you’ll need to create separate data series for each. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the chart, right-click, and select “Select Data.”
- Click “Add” to add a new data series.
- Give it a name (e.g., “Men”).
- Select the data range for the men’s data, including the buckets and results.
- Repeat the process to add another data series for women’s data.
Now, you have two data series on the same chart, one representing men and the other representing women.
Formatting and Customization: To make the chart visually appealing and easy to interpret, you can apply various formatting options:
- Add a legend to differentiate between the data series.
- Customize the color and style of each data series to make them visually distinct.
- Adjust the width of the bars to control the overlap or separation between data series.
- Experiment with fill colors, patterns, or gradients to emphasize one data set over the other.
Conclusion: In this part of our series on combining histograms in Excel, we learned how to merge two data sets, align their buckets, and create a combined chart. By following these steps and applying formatting options, you can effectively compare and visualize multiple data sets in a single chart. In the next part, we’ll delve deeper into customizing and fine-tuning your combined histograms for more detailed insights.