Difference chart

A difference chart, also known as a change chart or a delta chart, is a type of chart that shows the difference between two data sets over time (e.g. month, quarter). The difference chart is used to highlight the changes in the data sets, making it easier to visualize trends and patterns in the data.

In this Excel tutorial, you can learn how to insert Difference chart into your spreadsheet.

There are several types of difference charts, including line charts, bar charts, and column charts. The choice of chart type depends on the type of data and the information you want to convey.

Preparation of differential data for a graph

1. To create a difference chart, you will need two sets of data that you want to compare. Make sure the data is organized chronologically, with the earliest data first and the latest data last. Enter your data in the Excel sheet. Make a column for the lower range. Then leave one column and make a column for the upper range.

data table

2. To calculate the difference between the two data sets, you will need to subtract one set of data from the other. In the column that had been left blank, enter the heading difference. And use the following method to calculate the values of that column (High – low column).

calculate difference

3. Repeat this process for each data point. Once the value of the first cell of the difference column is calculated, drag it down till week 5. You will get:

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difference calculated

Inserting a difference chart

4. Select the first three columns. Then, Click insert> insert bar chart> Stacked bar chart.

5. Now, right click on the blue part of the chart and click format data series. A box will appear on the screen.

6. Click on the fill and line (marked with blue) in the following screenshot:

click series options

7. Then, click on no fill.

diff chart no fill

8. You will get a chart which will look like this:

first example chart inserted

Delete the legend. (Selected in the image)

9. Adjust the scale by right clicking on the horizontal axis then go to the format axis. Adjust the scale under the axis options.

10. The final result would be like this:

Difference chart ready

Add reference lines: To make the difference chart easier to understand, you can add reference lines to show the average or median value of the difference. To add a reference line, right-click on the chart and select Add Trendline. In the Add Trendline dialog box, select the Average option and click OK.

Add a data label: To display the value of each data point on the chart, you can add a data label. To do this, right-click on the line and select Add Data Labels. This will display the value of each data point along the line.

This is how to show difference in Excel chart.

In conclusion, a difference chart is a useful tool for visualizing the changes between two data sets over time. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a difference chart in Microsoft Excel that clearly displays the changes in the data and makes it easy to compare and understand the data. Whether you are a business analyst, financial analyst, or data analyst, a difference chart can help you to quickly and easily analyze and communicate the changes in your data.