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Charley's Swipe File #56

This 'Target Chart' probably serves no practical business purpose. However, it does illustrate charting techniques that you definitely need to know about.


by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

Charley's Swipe File Chart #56A customer sent me a hand-drawn chart like this and asked whether itís possible to create it in Excel.

He wanted to use the chart to show project status, where the bulls eye shows a completed project.

Because I liked the challenge, I set it up for him using Scatter Plots, also known as XY Plots.

To position a project in the chart, you enter its radius and angle in a table. Each circle shows the radius and the numbers around the edge show the angle.

But when I was done with the chart I realized that I couldnít think of anything else that it might be used for. In fact, there even might be better ways to show project status.

When I asked other MVPs for ideas, they all made fun of me for creating this chart in the first place. One said that its best use would be for target practice.

After thinking about their criticisms, I agree with them. In fact, I donít recommend that you use this chart for anything practical.

(Update: A customer recently wrote, "I just thought you would like to know, I bought it from you and with some small modifications I do use it to track the vane movement in gas turbine engines.")

However, I decided to add it to my swipe files because it illustrates four charting techniques that you definitely need to know about.

(Continued in the documentation.)

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