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## Types of Charts: Column Charts

Introduction

As we have seen already, a column chart creates vertically standing rectangular boxes. Each box can be used to represent an integral, a decimal, or a percentage value. When creating such a chart, you specify the values to use. Microsoft Exccel determines the highest and the lowest values. When the boxes are drawn, each must fit in the area allocated for the chart. As a consequence, the box that represents the highest value is also the tallest while the box for the lowest value is the shortest. Microsoft Excel draws the other boxes between these extremes but proportionately. Therefore, a column graph is used to compare values in increment.

Double-Column Charts

The classic column chart is made of flat bars that simply illustrate maximal, minimal, and in-between values. One of the options allows you to create a 3-dimensional look of the chart and further accentuate the colors and/or other graphic effects. To enhance an effective analysis, you can create a real 3-D chart that shows data and graphics in perspective.

Another variance of the column chart is to show two columns for each sample value. For example, in our real estate application, imagine that you have the market value for each property and the value the property was sold for, one of the effects of a sale is that some properties would be sold for the same market value, some properties would be sold for a lower value (for example, the seller may want to get rid of the house and be willing to assist the buyer with a down payment and closing cost, thus lowering the price of the house), some other properties could be sold higher than the advertised value (for example, a customer may want to insist on having the house, even at a high price, or too many people could be suddenly interested in the same house, this could raise the price). At the end of the year, when doing an inventory or an evaluation of some sort, you may want to know what houses sold high and which ones sold low.

3-D Column Charts

So far, we have used what are referred to as flat charts. They can be drawn on a 2 dimensional coordinate system. To enhance the appearance of a chart, you can draw it in 3 dimensional coordinate system (x, y, z). If you want to draw 3-D chart, you must select three series of cells. Two of the series should hold categories of values and the other one can hold unique values. The two series that hold categories of values should have corresponding values so that, a value from one series can have corresponding values in the second series. Here is an example. Imagine that, in a real estate database, you have been selling properties over a period of 1, 2, 3 or more years. The properties sold are categorized as single families, townhouses, and condominiums. Obviously in a particular year, you sell properties of all kinds. On the other hand, each property can have its own value. You can use these three sets of values to create a 3-D chart.

The cone, cylinder, and pyramid charts can be used in the same scenario as the column char. Their 3-D visual effect can enhance the overall analysis of data.

The cylinder chart creates long circular boxes of the same base on both ends. It can be enhanced with good formatted Fill Effects. This chart is suitable for industry, manufacturing analysis, and predictions.

The cone chart is made of a circular base topped by a higher point. When used with various data, the higher values will have the complete cone while the lower values will share portion of the geometric figure. The cone chart should be used with values that can take advantage of its graphing dimensions.

The pyramid chart resembles the cone chart with a difference on their respective bases. Both are constructed the same and can be used in similar scenarios.

When creating the chart, there are many aspects you can change for it. For example, you may have a chart where the figures in the front seem to hide those in the back:

Or there is too much room on one side. You can rotate the chart. To do this, click one of the borders of the walls of the chart to select its frame. Then click one of the handles on the frame and hold the mouse down. The actual frame of the chart would appear:

You can then rotate the chart in the direction of your choice. You can keep doing this, releasing the mouse to preview, then rotating again, until you get the desired orientation.

If you created the chart as one shape (cylinder, cone, or pyramid) but want to use another shape, you can change it.

Bar Charts

A bar chart uses the same theories and scenarios as the column chart except that its rectangular boxes are horizontal. Like the column chart, the bar chart is used to compare values of the same category on a common scale. You create a bar chart using the same process as the Column, except that you should select the Bar Chart on the Ribbon.

As done for the column chart, when specifying the values of a bar chart, use a series of cells that have frequent occurrences of the same values.