A box plot splits data into quartiles. This is a common statistical analysis that you can perform quickly. Let’s learn how to make a box plot with Microsoft Excel.
How to Make a Box Plot in Microsoft Excel
Box plots help you analyze data. At a glance, you can track the variation in your dataset. You can see how the data concentrates around the overall median. This includes the low and high extremes, the median, and the two additional medians between minimum and overall median, and overall median and maximum.
Let’s take a look at a real-world example. Imagine you have a landscaping business, and you want to explore the overall success of your latest contracts. The data from the last five is listed in Excel like you see below.
A box plot will help you dive into your data at a single glance. To get started, click and drag your cursor to highlight the data and header in cells A1:A7.
With the data selected, find the Insert tab on Excel’s ribbon. Once there, in the Charts group, find the Statistical dropdown.
Click there, and you’ll see a menu with two categories listed. Histogram has two thumbnails, and Box and Whisker has one.
Click on the last, under Box and Whisker. Excel will automatically insert your box plot onto the worksheet. You’ll find it to be a clear, concise summary of your data and its variation.
The primary data is concentrated in the blue box. The horizontal lines at the top and bottom (called “whiskers”) represent the upper and lower extremes in the dataset.
To make better use of the chart, you can highlight the Chart Title text, and then type over it with your own words. In addition, you can make stylistic changes on the Chart Design menu, found on Excel’s ribbon.
Excel makes creating statistical charts easy, thanks to built-in features and powerful analysis tools.