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When To Use a Radar Chart: Definition and Examples

A radar chart is a graphical tool that is used to display the relationships between different data sets. The radar chart is also known as a spider chart, star chart, or web chart. The chart consists of a number of spokes that radiate from a central point. The spokes represent the data sets, and the length of the spokes is proportional to the magnitude of the data set. The radial lines between the spokes represent the degree of correlation between the data sets.

The data sets are usually displayed as circles, and the size of the circle is proportional to the value of the data set. The position of the circle is determined by the value of the data set. Radar charts are a complex chart type, and it’s easy to create visual confusion if you aren’t experienced with using them. The huge advantage of a radar chart compared to column charts, line charts, and other carts, however, is that a radar chart makes outliers in data sets and relationships between data easy to see at a glance. They’re excellent when you only have a few items to compare or when you’re trying to display performance metrics for your organization. Here’s a breakdown of how to design your own radar charts and when to use a radar chart in your organization.

How To Make A Radar Chart In Excel

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To create a radar chart in Excel, you will need to set up a table with the values you want to compare. The table should have at least three columns: the category name, the value for the category, and the percentage of the total.

Once you have your table set up, you can create the radar chart by following these steps:

1. Select the data sets you want to include in the chart. This could be anything from recent sales data to the number of customer complaints in the past month. In fact, these would be great data sets to use together to display the relationship between custom complaints and sales and to communicate the need for better customer relationship management (CRM). You’ll need to arrange these data sets in a fresh table.

2. Once you’ve entered the data you want to use, click the Insert tab, and then click the Radar Chart icon.

3. Excel will create a default radar chart based on the data in your table.

4. To customize the chart, click the Design tab, and then select the elements you want to change. These elements may include different labels, additional markers, and more.

5. You can also change the colors, add text or labels, and adjust the angle and thickness of the lines.

6. When you are finished, click the Save As button to save your changes and convert your radar chart to a displayable format.

Factors to Consider When Creating Radar Charts

Since radar charts are a complex chart type that can quickly become confusing, there are several factors you should keep in mind to determine whether a radar chart is the best option and to dictate the data you use for it.

You’ll want to use data sets that are evenly distributed and easy to compare at a surface level. You’ll also want to make sure you’re ordering your selected data sets in order of magnitude. Naturally, you’ll also need to mark your chart well so that the information is easy to understand. Clearly mark your data sets, and include labels for what the data is showing. You’ll also want to customize your color scheme, lines, and font styles so that they’re easy to see.

Radar Chart Use Cases

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Radar charts can be used to compare different data sets at the same time, or you can use them to compare data sets over time. Here are a few of the most common use cases.


Display Performance Data: Radar charts are ideal to display performance information for teams, individual employees, product sales, and any other performance metrics relevant to your business.

Highlight Differences and Similarities: If you have multiple business locations, for example, and you’re looking to standardize them, you can use radar charts to compare things like the number of employees at each location, the sales figures for each location, or even the number of new workstations you’ve set up at each location.


Compare Data With Different Scales: For example, you could use a radar chart to compare the number of sales made by different salespeople on different teams. This will help you determine the most effective techniques used by your most successful teams, so you can train your other teams to use them.


These are just a few ways you can take advantage of radar charts. Once you start experimenting with your data, you’ll likely come up with new ways on your own.

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