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Discover the Bullet Graph for Excel

Have you ever heard of the bullet graph? It looks something like this!

The bullet graph is a chart invented by Stephen Few, and it was designed to replace the meters and gauges that are often used on dashboards.

If you are curious to learn more about the bullet graph, then read on!

Why the Bullet Graph?

The bullet graph allows you to compare a featured measure to one or more related measures (for example, a target or the same measure at some point in the past, such as a year ago). It also allows you to relate the featured measure to defined quantitative ranges that declare its qualitative state (for example, good, satisfactory, and poor).

In simple terms, the bullet graph allows you to view a lot of information related to a specific metric clearly and effectively!

On top of that, its linear design gives it a small footprint and supports more efficient reading than radial meters.

What Makes Up a Bullet Graph

You can break a bullet graph into five primary components.

  • Text label
  • A quantitative scale along a single linear axis
  • The featured measure
  • One or two comparative measures (optional)
  • From two to five ranges along the quantitative scale to declare the featured measure’s

How to Create a Bullet Graph in Excel

Creating a bullet graph in Excel is not the most intuitive process, unfortunately. The good news is that it’s not too difficult either.

You just need someone to show you how to build it.

Luckily, I posted a video on YouTube showcasing how to build a bullet graph among a few other charts. It’s the fourth chart in the list.

So check out the video below to learn how to build this magnificent chart.

More Info and Documentation

A good chunk of the information in this article references the work of Stephen Few from his website, The Perceptual Edge.

I highly recommend you check out this article to read the specific documentation on the bullet chart.

Learn About Other Excel Charts

To learn more about other charts and graphs you can create in Excel, check out these other articles below.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Your YouTube video introduced me to this graph and I just love it! Thanks for the post that goes deeper into the subject. I can’t wait to start using this!

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