How to create a Pareto chart using Excel

If you are the owner of a company and you are interested in addressing the problems associated with the productivity of your business, you must carry out an analysis of the causes that produce said problems , for this you will have a tool such as the Pareto diagram.

Now, you can also count on another tool like Microsoft Excel to make the graph you need , so we teach you how to create a Pareto chart using Excel . Continue reading and learn how to do it.

How to Create a Pareto Chart Using Excel and Make It Stunning?

Index( )

  1. What should I use to create a Pareto chart in Excel?
    1. Benefits of using ‘Class Width’
    2. Advantages you will have when using ‘By category’
    3. You may be interested in using ‘Overflow Class’
    4. Underflow class might be what you’re looking for
    5. You can also do it automatically
  2. This is how you should build a Pareto chart from scratch
  3. How should a Pareto chart in Excel look if you did it right? ( Example )
  4. Is Excel the best tool for building Pareto charts?
    1. Alternatives to Excel

What should I use to create a Pareto chart in Excel?

There are various tools in Excel that you can take advantage of to format your tables and get the most out of them, in the specific case of a Pareto chart, you will need to arrange the data in order to show the recipient the best possible way and thus facilitate its interpretation . For this you can have:

Benefits of using ‘Class Width’

When you make a table where you present data to carry out studies of statistical elements such as frequency, cumulative frequency, mode, median, among others, it is usual that on certain occasions you group the data by ranges, this is known as class width.

That is, you will be able to make use of a range of input data, where you will add the elements belonging to said range of values ​​and later you will point to the frequency.

In the case of the Pareto chart in Excel, you can opt for this technique, grouping the smallest problems in a certain item and adding the values ​​that correspond to it to obtain a more synthesized analysis. This way you will save time and make a shorter presentation of the data in the tables.

Advantages you will have when using ‘By category’

Excel has grouping tools by category in its versions from 2016 onwards, so if you have one of these versions on your PC you can use this resource that will save you time and help you classify the problems to carry out a simpler grouping.

Once you have the table with their respective descriptions of problems, you can use grouping by category using the markers you require.

In general, you will see that you can use general values, percentage, accounting, currency, number, fraction, scientific and many more. This will allow you to format your graphs as needed to better represent the data.

You may be interested in using ‘Overflow Class’

The overflow class is another of the tools offered by Microsoft Excel in its most recent versions, it is a method that allows grouping higher values ​​in the same category or range. To access this tool you must right-click on your graph and navigate to the “Axis Format” menu, then check the “Overflow Range” box and place the number in the indicated field.

Underflow class might be what you’re looking for

Similar to the overflow tool, this allows you to choose a range of numbers that are below an indicated value and group them in the same category or item. Access this function by following the steps indicated in the previous section, but instead of browsing and checking the “Overflow Range” box, you must check “Sub overflow Range” and place the value in the indicated field.

This tool will save you analysis time in your graphs and presentation of results. If you have any doubts, visit Microsoft Excel technical support for more information on this.

You can also do it automatically

Another possibility you have is to use automatic formats in the construction of Pareto diagrams. By using this method you will be telling Excel to use a single column of data to build the chart , and the class width will be determined by the program by applying Scott’s reference rule.

This is how you should build a Pareto chart from scratch

First of all you must make your data table and use it correctly, typically they are those where problems are represented that you must address. Organize the data by placing from highest to lowest those with the highest frequency of incidents, proceed to calculate the accumulated frequency and, if you wish, the accumulated percentage . Follow the steps below to get your diagram:

  • Once you have your table prepared according to the given indications,choose the data range you want to use to build your Pareto chart.
  • Navigate to the top menu and choose the “Insert” option, from here you will have two options. The first is to click on “Recommended Charts” in the left menu and you should see a Pareto chart. If this is not the case, click on “All charts” and choose “Combined table”take the second option and you will have your Pareto chart.
  • Proceed to give the formats you require to adequately present the information.
  • The second way you have to get your Pareto chart will depend on the version of Excel you have. In the most updated versions, you must navigate to “Insert”, then choose “Insert Statistical graphs” and then click on “Histogram”, you will be presented with several options among which you have “Pareto”, choose that option and you will have your diagram.

Once you have your diagram you must evaluate the axes and the presentation of the information , if you consider that it is correct, you will have finished your work, if not, you should consult the previous sections where we explain the resources to format your graph.

How should a Pareto chart in Excel look if you did it right? ( Example )

A well-prepared Pareto chart in Excel must have a main representation in columns placed in descending order, in addition, you will see a continuous line that joins the central points of each column, whose value corresponds to the accumulated frequency or accumulated percentage according to the needs that you have

Another important aspect in a diagram of this nature are the axes that represent the main value of the items represented by the columns and that are usually shown on the left side of the graph. Likewise, you will have the right axis of the graph where you will see either the accumulated percentages or the accumulated frequency .

Is Excel the best tool for building Pareto charts?

As a good calculation tool, Excel is a good option for making Pareto diagrams, however, it is important to mention that there are other tools that you can use to develop diagrams of this nature in a professional manner.

Although to achieve this purpose you must have programming skills in various languages ​​such as Python, C++, Visual Basic, among others . You can also use the following options:

Alternatives to Excel

As alternatives to this powerful tool, you have the software where you will have to use yourself programming like the ones mentioned above, as well as other environments such as iWork with its Numbers software that is used in macOS, or Google Docs if you want to work online.

In general, the most used and well-known tool for its power to develop many graphic , calculation and registry resources is Excel.

The process to obtain your Pareto chart is not complex, we hope that this post has been of great help to you, to complement it we can learn  how to insert images with hyperlinks in Excel  and we will surely strengthen the knowledge about this excellent program.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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