How to Create a Spider/radar Chart in Excel? 

A spider or radar chart is one of the most common graphs in the statistics world. It allows users to compare two or more elements visually. For example, you can use it to compare how different departments in an organization are performing in various aspects. Excel has built-in features that facilitate spider charts. This guide will help you create a spider chart in Exxcel easily. 

What is a Spider chart? 

 Spider chart

A radar chart, also known as a spider or web chart, visually represents multivariate data in a two-dimensional space. It consists of a series of equidistant spokes, each representing a different variable, and a polygonal line connecting data points for each variable. The shape of the resulting polygon provides a quick overview of how the variables interact, making it useful for comparing and analyzing patterns in data across multiple categories.

When to use spider/radar charts? 

Radar charts are most effective in scenarios where you want to illustrate and compare multiple variables across different categories. Common use cases include:

Performance evaluation: Comparing the performance of individuals or entities across various criteria.

Product comparison: Evaluating and contrasting products or features based on multiple attributes.

Skill assessment: Visualizing and comparing skill levels or competencies of individuals in various areas.

Team analysis: Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of team members in different skill sets.

Survey analysis: Displaying survey responses across different categories for quick insights.

Sports analysis: Evaluating player performance in different aspects of a game, like offense, defense, and skill proficiency.

Steps to create a spider/radar chart in Excel

Data Preparation:

Organize your data with categories in columns and data points for each category.


Data to use for spider chart

Insert Radar Chart:

1. Highlight your data, including the player names and all the attributes.

Highlight data in Excel

2. Go to the “Insert” tab on the Excel ribbon.

3. Click on “Radar Chart” from the Chart options. You will notice it easily since it has a spider web symbol. When you click its drop-down you will be presented with three types of the spider chart.

The first one is just a plain radar chart, The second one comes with markers and the last one is a filled marker. Choose any of the 3 depending on your requirements.

How to insert a spider chart in Excel

Format the Radar Chart:

Once the chart is inserted, you may need to format it.

Right-click on various chart elements (axes, data series, etc.) to access formatting options.

How to format a radar chart in Excel

Adjust axis scales, labels, and other elements based on your preferences.

Customize Labels

Rename the axes to represent your categories (Pass Accuracy, Speed, Shooting Power, Defending).

You can right-click on axis labels to edit them.

Modify Chart Title

Add a title to your radar chart by clicking on the placeholder title and typing in your desired text.

Final Adjustments:

Fine-tune the appearance of the chart as needed, adjusting colors, legend placement, and other formatting options.

Download the Radar Chart Excel practice template

Advantages of using a spider chart

1. Visual comparison: Spider charts provide a visual representation of multiple variables, making it easy to compare data across different categories at a glance.

2. Multivariate analysis: They allow for the simultaneous analysis of several variables, enabling users to identify patterns, trends, and relationships within the data.

3. Simplicity: Spider charts are relatively easy to create and understand, making them accessible to users with varying levels of Excel proficiency.

4. Compact presentation: They condense multiple data points into a single chart, saving space and reducing clutter compared to presenting the same information in multiple charts or tables.

5. Customization: Excel offers a range of customization options for spider charts, including formatting choices for axes, data points, and labels, allowing users to tailor the chart to their specific needs and preferences.

6. Highlighting disparities: They can effectively highlight disparities or strengths among different variables, helping users identify areas for improvement or focus.

Disadvantages of spider charts

1. Subjectivity: Interpretation of spider charts can be subjective. Different viewers may interpret the same chart in different ways, leading to potential miscommunication or misunderstandings.

2. Limited variable comparison: Spider charts become less effective as the number of variables increases. Beyond a certain point, the chart can become cluttered and difficult to interpret.

3. Scale issues: Inaccurate scaling of axes can distort the visual representation of data. It’s crucial to ensure that the scales on all axes are consistent to avoid misinterpretation.

4. Sensitivity to data distribution: The shape of the spider chart is highly sensitive to the distribution of data points. Small changes in values can result in significant alterations in the overall chart shape.

5. Overemphasis on extremes: Spider charts may overemphasize extreme values. A single high or low value can disproportionately affect the appearance of the entire chart, potentially misleading viewers.

6. Complexity for novice users: Novice users may find spider charts challenging to understand, especially when dealing with a large number of variables or intricate data patterns.

7. Limited in statistical analysis: Spider charts are primarily visual tools and do not provide statistical measures or significance testing. Users should be cautious when drawing conclusions solely based on visual patterns.

8. Not suitable for all data types: Spider charts may not be suitable for all types of data. For example, they might not effectively represent data with complex relationships or non-linear patterns.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Excel Wizard

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading