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How to Make Small Multiples in Excel

Also known as trellis charts, lattice chart, or whatever you want to call them, the technique lets you compare several categories in one view.

Small multiples are an effective way of displaying and comparing multiple entities that wouldn’t fit in a single chart.

The concept is that, instead of having a larger chart with dozens of series, one for each entity (or category), you can create multiple, striped-down versions, one for each entity, making it easier to analyze each one and compare it to others. Usually, you split a series (e.g.unemployment rate) by entity (e.g. state), but other variations are possible, like analyzing a single entity over several moments. Note that “small multiples” is not a chart type: it’s a visualization strategy that you can apply to most visual displays, from pie charts (be careful with this one) to maps. You can find plenty of examples here.

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About the Author

Jorge Camoes is a data visualization consultant based in Lisbon. Author of the book Data at Work. Runs, where he discusses how to use Excel as data visualization tool. Recently playing with PowerBI & PowerQuery.