How to Make an Excel 2010 Pareto Chart
A Pareto Chart is a really cool kind of chart that lets you review data very easily in terms of the most important items first and then tailing off to the less important items. It has a set of bars along the bottom which show the number of items per category. For example it can show the top 10 reasons people complain at a hotel with the most common ones starting on the left. Then a line across the top area shows what cumulative percentage each item is, with that line ending at 100% on the far right.
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So to begin with, you have your column of labels and then your column of counts for each label. You want to sort all this data so that the most common item is at the top and the least common item is at the bottom.
Total up your counts. Now make a third column that is the percent each count is of the total. Create a fourth column which is the cumulative percentage - i.e. take the current percentage and add the previous one to it on each line. The bottom entry should be 100%.
Now select the title, straight count, and cumulative percentage data sets by using the control key to select them individually. Click the insert tab. You want the line with markers. This should give you two lines across your chart - one for the straight counts and one for the percentages.
Select the cumulative percent line. Now right-click and use format data series. Put this on the secondary data axis. Now right click the axis, format it, and set the max to 1. That way it goes from 0 to 100.
Now select the main line and right click on it. chagne the chart type to column.
To chagne the axis labels, click on "series" up in the main top ribbon bar.
You now have your very own Pareto Chart!
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