How to Make a Chart on Excel with Multiple Variables: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a chart on Excel with more than one variable might sound daunting, but it’s pretty straightforward. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to display multiple sets of data in a single chart, making your data analysis easier and more comprehensive.

After you’ve completed the chart, you’ll have a visual representation of your data, which can help you to identify trends, patterns, and relationships between the different variables.


Excel is a powerful tool that many of us use on a daily basis. Whether you’re crunching numbers for a business report, tracking inventory, or analyzing survey results, Excel makes it easy to organize and manipulate data. But what happens when you want to compare more than one set of data? That’s where charts come into play.

Charts are a fantastic way to visualize data, making it easier to understand and analyze. They can be particularly useful when you’re dealing with multiple variables, as they allow you to see how different data sets interact with one another. For instance, if you’re tracking monthly sales for different products, a chart could help you see which products are performing well and which aren’t.

This article is perfect for anyone looking to enhance their Excel skills, including students working on assignments, professionals preparing reports, and anyone in between. Let’s dive into how to create a chart on Excel with more than one variable.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Make a Chart on Excel With More Than One Variable

Before we begin, it’s essential to understand that this process will help us visualize multiple sets of data in relation to each other using a single chart.

Step 1: Input your data

Enter all the data you want to include in the chart into an Excel spreadsheet.

Entering your data accurately is key. Make sure each variable has its own column, and each row represents a different data point. For example, if you’re comparing monthly sales for two different products, each product would have its own column, and each row would represent a month.

Step 2: Select your data

Highlight all the data you want to include in your chart.

When selecting data, include the column headers as they will become the labels in your chart, making it easier to identify each variable.

Step 3: Insert a chart

Click the ‘Insert’ tab, then choose the type of chart you want to create from the ‘Charts’ group.

There are many chart types to choose from, but some are better suited for multiple variables than others. Line, bar, and column charts are common choices.

Step 4: Customize your chart

Use the ‘Chart Tools’ to modify the chart’s design, layout, and format to better represent your data.

Customization can involve adding a chart title, changing the color of data series to differentiate between variables, or adjusting the scale of the chart’s axes to better display your data.


Visual appealCharts make data more visually appealing, which can help to engage your audience better. Seeing data in a visual format can make it easier to digest and understand.
Pattern identificationUsing a chart allows you to easily identify trends and patterns in your data which might not be apparent when looking at raw data.
ComparisonCharts with multiple variables allow for easy comparison between different sets of data, enabling more comprehensive analysis.


ComplexityCharts with multiple variables can be complex and may overwhelm or confuse the audience if not designed well.
MisinterpretationIf not clearly labeled or explained, there’s a risk that the viewer may misinterpret what the data is showing.
Data overloadThere is a limit to how many variables can be effectively displayed in a single chart before it becomes too cluttered to be useful.

Additional Information

When creating a chart on Excel with more than one variable, it’s crucial to consider the message you’re trying to convey. What do you want your audience to take away from your chart? Ensure that the chart type you choose and the way you present your data aligns with this goal.

You might also want to think about who your audience is. Are they familiar with the data you’re presenting, or will they need additional context to understand your chart? This can determine how much explanation you include in your chart labels and titles.

Another tip is to keep your chart as simple as possible. While it’s tempting to include as much data as you can, this can make your chart confusing and difficult to read. Focus on the most important variables, and consider using additional charts if you have more data to present.

Remember, the goal is to make your data easier to understand, not more complicated. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you should be able to create a clear, informative chart that efficiently compares multiple variables.


  1. Input your data
  2. Select your data
  3. Insert a chart
  4. Customize your chart

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of charts work best for multiple variables?

Line, bar, and column charts are often the best choices for displaying multiple variables in a clear way.

Can I display more than two variables in a single chart?

Yes, but be cautious of making your chart too complex. Focus on the most important data points for your analysis.

How can I make my chart easier to understand?

Use clear labels, a legend, and different colors or styles for each variable. Keep your chart as simple and uncluttered as possible.

Can I change the type of chart after I’ve already created it?

Absolutely! Excel makes it easy to switch between different chart types without having to start from scratch.

Will Excel automatically update my chart if I change the data?

Yes, Excel charts are dynamic. If you update the data in your spreadsheet, the chart will update to reflect those changes.


Creating a chart on Excel with more than one variable is a skill that’s invaluable in many scenarios, from academic research to business analysis. It can seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it’s an excellent way to present complex data in an accessible, visually appealing format. Remember to keep your charts simple, focus on the key message you want to convey, and consider your audience’s needs. With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming an Excel charting pro. Happy charting!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy