Show the details in a pie chart by exploding sections into a bar chart.
To get the big picture of how a total is distributed, for examples total sales by country or unit volumes by region, most executives want to see a pie chart. This is one of the few things a pie chart might be good for, showing how 100% of a total is distributed. The problem comes in showing details within small segments of a pie chart.
Either you have faced or will face the problem of display a pie chart with a group of small wedges. Someone will always ask, “What is that small purple wedge?” The small details get lost in pie charts.
With Excel 2010 and Excel 2007 we can fix that problem using a “Bar of Pie” chart like the one shown here. Notice that the pie chart shows the relationship of large wedges while a bar chart to the side shows the blow-up of small wedges.
To create a Bar of Pie chart,
- Select a cell inside the data you want created as a pie chart.
- On the ribbon, select Insert > Charts group > Pie.
- Select Bar of Pie.
To select which pie chart wedges appear in the bar chart,
- Right -click on the pie chart and choose Format Data Series.
- Select Series Options, then Split Series by. This example uses Split Series by Percentage Value.
- Choose the amount of detail in the bar chart with Second Plot Contains All Values Less Than.