Creating a semaphore thermometer chart

Data visualization is a key cognitive tool that enables you to attract more attention to your statements. E.g., you can direct your organization attention to insufficiently developed goals and praise them for successfully performed goals. This tip shows you how to update thermometer char colors automatically according to the current process status.
The thermometer Chart Excel 2013

For example (see Creating a simple thermometer chart), a worksheet set up to track daily progress toward a goal: 1,000 new sales in a 10-day period. Cell C16 contains the goal value, and cell C17 contains a simple sum formula:

=SUM(C5:C14)

Cell C19 contains a formula that calculates the percent of goal:

=C17/C16

To create the chart like this one, do the following:

    1.    Add additional data to see different colors for different volumes (in this example, cells C20:C23):

Additional data Excel 2013

    2.    Create a simple thermometer chart (in this example, for cell C20) - see Creating a simple thermometer chart for more details.

    3.    Right-click in the chart area. In the popup menu select Select Data...:

Select Data in Excel 2013

    4.    In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the Add button:

Add data series in Excel 2013

    5.    In the Edit Series dialog box, select the second and other data ranges (in this example C21, C22 and C23):

Edit Series in Excel 2013

    6.    Open the Format Data Series, do one of the following:

  • Right-click in the data series and choose Format Data Series... in the popup menu:
    popup data series in Excel 2013
  • Excel displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design and Format tabs:
    The Chart Tools in Excel 2013

    On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the Format Selection icon:

    Format Selection in Excel 2013

    7.    In the Format Data Series task pane for every series choose different colors. You can choose different series in that task pane:

Choose data series in Excel 2013

Make any other adjustments to get the look you desire.

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