How to Make a Multi-Series Dot Plot in Excel
Easily compare multiple categories and spot differences between two or more series.
Similar to a standard bar chart, you can use dot plots to compare categories. However, dot plots offer some advantages with certain data sets. If you are using more than one series, it’s easier to spot the differences between them, because dots use less visual space than bars. Also, it’s often (strongly) suggested that, when using bar charts, we should start the scale at zero, because they can be misleading if the scale starts at a different point. With dot plots it’s easier to compare relative positions, so you don’t have to start the scale at zero.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a dot plot with two series in Excel. It is not available as a default Excel chart but, with a few tweaks, you can easily turn one of the available charts into a dot plot.
To access this full tutorial and download the source code you must be a member. (If you are already a member, log in here.)
Get instant access to this tutorial and over a hundred more, plus courses, guides, and additional resources.
You'll get unlimited access to hundreds of hours worth of step-by-step visualization courses and tutorials for insight and presentation — all while supporting an independent site. Source code and data is included so that you can more easily apply what you learn in your own work.
The tutorials are very helpful to move from "Oooo, cool!" to how to actually DO the cool.
Members also recieve a weekly newsletter, The Process. Keep up-to-date on visualization tools, the rules, and the guidelines and how they all work together in practice.
See samples of everything you gain access to:
More Tutorials See All →
How to Make Beeswarm Plots in R to Show Distributions
Try the more element-based approach instead of your traditional histogram or boxplot.
How to Make Baseline Charts in R
By shifting the baseline to a reference point, you can focus a line chart on relative change, which can improve the visibility of smaller categories.
Symbols-based Unit Charts to Show Counts in R
Add visual weight by using individual items to show counts.