How to Create a Sunburst Chart in Excel?

In this article, you will learn how to make a sunburst chart in Excel, a visually captivating and dynamic way to represent hierarchical data. A sunburst chart is a radial hierarchy visualization that displays data in a circular arrangement of segments, resembling the concentric circles of a sunburst. Each level of the hierarchy is represented by a ring, with the outermost ring signifying the top-level categories and inner rings representing subcategories. The segments’ size and color in the sunburst chart convey quantitative and qualitative information, offering a clear visual representation of the hierarchical structure and the proportional contribution of each element. Excel’s powerful features make it easy to create a sunburst chart, allowing you to communicate complex relationships within your data through an engaging and insightful visualization.

How to Create a Sunburst Chart in Excel?

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to create a sunburst chart in Excel:

  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet: Launch Microsoft Excel and open the spreadsheet containing the hierarchical data you want to visualize as a sunburst chart.
  2. Organize Your Data: Structure your data hierarchically, with columns representing each level of the hierarchy. Ensure that you have clear headers for each column.
  3. Select Your Data: Highlight the range of cells that you want to include in the sunburst chart, including headers and data.
  4. Go to the “Insert” Tab: Navigate to the “Insert” tab in the Excel ribbon located at the top of the screen.
  5. Choose “Sunburst Chart” Type: Within the “Charts” or “Chart Types” group, click on the “Sunburst” option. Excel will automatically generate a sunburst chart based on your selected data.
  6. Adjust the Sunburst Chart: After inserting the chart, Excel may automatically organize your data into a sunburst chart. However, you may need to make adjustments. Right-click on the chart, choose “Select Data,” and ensure your hierarchy is correctly recognized.
  7. Customize the Chart: Utilize the Chart Tools available in the ribbon to customize the appearance of your sunburst chart. This includes changing colors, titles, and labels to enhance the visual appeal and clarity of the chart.
  8. Expand or Collapse Segments (Optional): Excel sunburst charts often allow you to expand or collapse segments for a more detailed or high-level view. Click on the segments to adjust the level of detail.
  9. Format Data Labels (Optional): Enhance the readability of your sunburst chart by adding data labels. Right-click on the chart, choose “Add Data Labels,” and customize the label format.
  10. Save Your Workbook: Save your Excel workbook to preserve the changes made to the sunburst chart.
  11. Update the Chart with New Data: If your hierarchical data changes, right-click on the chart and choose “Select Data.” Adjust the data range to update the sunburst chart accordingly.
  12. Explore Advanced Chart Options: Depending on your needs, explore advanced options such as adjusting labels, adding borders, or other features available in the Chart Tools.
  13. Add Titles and Legends: Make your sunburst chart informative by including a title and legend. Titles convey the main message, while legends explain the categories represented in the sunburst.
  14. Format the Chart Area: Fine-tune the appearance of the chart area, including background colors and border, to align with your visual preferences.
  15. Adjust Segment Colors (Optional): Customize segment colors to highlight specific categories or emphasize particular aspects of your hierarchical data.

By following these steps, you can create a sunburst chart in Excel, offering a visually stunning representation of hierarchical relationships within your data. Excel’s user-friendly charting tools provide flexibility for customization, allowing you to tailor your sunburst chart to suit your specific data visualization needs.

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