## Understand What a Histogram Is

**Histograms** are a great way to visualize data. They show the *distribution of values* and can help to quickly visualize trends and patterns in data. Histograms are especially useful in Excel as they can easily be created using the “**Histogram**” feature in the charts section.

In this section, we’ll go over what a histogram is and how to make one using Excel:

### What is a Histogram?

**A histogram** is a data visualization tool created by analyzing groups of numerical data. In excel, it is a chart that displays the frequency of certain intervals of values in a set, helping you to understand and compare trends in your data. The graph looks very similar to a bar chart; however, it is more powerful than a simple chart because it gives the user the ability to clearly see how many numbers are in each particular group or bin.

Histograms are useful when trying to understand the overall shape of any distribution, alongside other properties such as *skewness and kurtosis*. Knowing how to make an Excel histogram can help you catch possible issues in your data that may generate false conclusions since they allow you to identify outliers or non-normal distributions that could not be detected by simply visualizing bar charts.

When creating an Excel histogram, you will need two separate pieces of information: the bin range or size and your raw data values that might be represented as frequencies or counts (how many numbers fall within each interval). Depending on Excel’s settings, both stiles can be represented with this type of graph; thus being able to create an accurate visual representation using different cell formatting options on your worksheet can help you interpret and analyze summarized groups such as in percentages, as well as raw numbers for exact calculations.

### What is the Purpose of a Histogram?

**A histogram** is a graphical representation of data, in which bars are used to show the frequency of certain values in a set. The height of each bar indicates the amount of items with the same value as that particular bin (category/group). Histograms represent data that has been grouped into classes within a range, rather than raw data.

Histograms are a useful tool for *visualizing where most values lie within a set* and whether or not there are any outliers. They show how much variation there is within a given population and how the different values of data are distributed over those ranges. Additionally, they can be used to identify potential areas for further research or exploration. Histograms can also help determine if outliers exist as well as indicate any unusual patterns in the data.

By visualizing data, it’s possible to better see what it tells us about relationships between variables and how it is affected by changes we can make to our environment or process. Knowing what a histogram does will allow you to identify trends which can then be used for predicting future results or generating hypotheses about the processes behind certain outcomes.

## Gather Your Data

Before you can make an Excel histogram, you’ll need to **gather the data** you want to plot. You can do this by hand, by downloading data from a website, by inputting data collected in the lab, or even by importing data from a database.

Once you have the data, you can begin to create your histogram.

### Collect Your Data

Creating a histogram in Microsoft Excel is a useful way to display data and make quick comparisons. Before you can construct the histogram, however, you must first gather your data.

You can use an existing table to source your data or make a new one from scratch. A simple one-column chart should be created with all your data points listed separately. If there are too many entries for conveniently organizing into a single chart, it is recommended that any entries that fall within the same range be grouped together. This will make managing the data much easier when creating the histogram.

Once the table has been created and filled in with your data, you will want to go through each entry and assign it a bin. Every bin should have an identical range of values, so any value between 8-10 would go in its own bin beside one from 4-6 or 10-12 – depending on the size of each interval you set for your graph.

It’s also important to make sure that you **label each interval correctly** – this will of course become more important later as you look at how bars are represented on Excel graphs when constructing them into a full histogram image of your overall dataset – as well as how they are labeled when excel plots them into its own graphs.

### Prepare Your Data

Preparing your data is the first step in creating a histogram. To begin, identify the groups or categories that best represent the data. If your data contains many different values, it may be helpful to use classes (groups) based on ranges of values. It is also important to consider how many classes you want to create. The number of classes should be few enough to provide an interpretable chart but numerous enough to capture all of the pertinent information from your data set.

When plotting the classes, try and select class boundaries that ensure each class will contain almost an equal number of observations. This will make it easier for others who interpret your histogram since several observations falling into a single class can greatly distort a histogram’s shape and create unreliable results. For example, if one of your classes contains **20 out of 40 total observations** for a particular variable – more than any other class – then its importance will become exaggerated when you plot it on a graph and this may detract from other valid results in other parts of the chart.

Once you have determined how many classes you want and what their corresponding boundaries are, create an Excel worksheet with two columns: **Observations** (a list or range highlighting all of your values) and **Class Number** (the determined ranges). Your worksheet should contain one row for each observation in which you can calculate the corresponding class number using the **IF function** by comparing each observation against its established boundary points. Doing so will let Excel assign each value automatically into its designated group:

## Create Your Histogram

**Creating histograms in Excel** is an effective way to represent data in a graphical format. It gives you useful insights into the distributions of data, and can make a very visually appealing representation of your data.

Let’s get into the steps to create a histogram in Excel:

### Set Up Your Data in Excel

One of the greatest benefits of creating a histogram in Microsoft Excel is that your data is already set up for you. Excel allows you to easily add columns, set up ranges and configure the settings to present the information in whatever format you desire. Here are some tips to remember:

**Create columns**that contain distinct categories and labels. For example, if you’re creating a histogram on customer ages, create separate columns for each age range like*18-24; 25-29; 30-34;*etc.**Set up row labels**that identify the source data within each cell. For instance, if you’d like to analyze customer locations by their age range in a histogram, use a label of*“Location”*in the first column and fill it with values like*“Los Angeles,” “New York City,”*etc.**Configure settings**so that Excel recognizes your data fields as numerical values instead of text or strings. This will help ensure that all necessary statistics are calculated within the corresponding cells for easier top-level analysis.**Adjust rows and order**depending on how your data is laid out or sorted within Excel’s spreadsheet interface (e.g., sorting by age ranges or locations). This will enable more precise interpretation when interpreting results from building a histogram graph later on from collected data sets.

### Create Your Histogram

**A histogram** is a graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data. It is used to graphically represent the spread of data frequencies in statistical terms. With Excel, you can easily create a histogram chart by following these steps:

- Enter the data into an Excel worksheet. Be sure to include headings for the categories and the values you wish to graph. Also, be sure your data has been organized neatly and there are no extra spaces or blank cells.
- Highlight all of the cell ranges that contain your numerical data and choose
*“Insert > Histogram”*from the Ribbon options tab in Excel 2010 or*“Charts > Histogram”*in Excel 2007 or earlier versions. - Choose whether you would like a clustered or stepped graph by clicking on either
*“Clustered Histogram (default)”*or*“Stepped Histogram”*located underneath your charts grouping options on the Insert ribbon in Excel 2010 or Chart ribbon in earlier versions of Excel. - Next, select
*“Bar width represents perfect intervals/class widths (equal classes)”*if you plan to have equal class intervals(same size)in your chart OR select*‘Range bounds represents exact values specified by bins/classes?’*if you plan to have unequal class intervals (non-equally sized). - Be sure to give your chart an appropriate and descriptive name then click OK when you are finished making changes in your histogram component settings window pop-up box in order for your chart properties window options tab to appear so that you can customize further aesthetic components such as bin color, shading, border width and transparency etc…
- When done making changes click OK again at which point there should be an edition-to selection dialogue within which clicking finalize will place & save it onto excel sheet within workspace document where it may be modified detailed further if need be before considering it ‘final.’

## Analyze Your Histogram

Analyzing your histogram can help you gain insight into the data you are representing. A histogram can show you the **distribution of the data**, or how often certain values occur. It can also help you explore relationships between two or more variables.

Let’s examine how to analyze your histogram and what insights you can gain from it:

- Examine the
*shape*of the histogram. - Look for
*outliers*. - Look for
*clusters*. - Look for
*gaps*.

### Interpret Your Histogram

Once you have created a histogram in your spreadsheet program, it’s time to analyze the data you’ve graphed. Look at the shape of your chart and ask yourself questions like:

- What is the
**highest frequency**that occurs in my data set? - What is the
**lowest frequency**? - Where are most of my values
**concentrated**? - Are there any
**unusual values**or**gaps**in the data that stand out?

These questions can help you identify trends or unexpected holes in your data set. For example, if you find that most of your values are concentrated around one particular point on the graph, this could indicate that certain preferences are more popular within your target demographic than others. Likewise, large gaps between two bars on a histogram could indicate that something unexpected has occurred within those value ranges.

By analyzing a histogram and asking yourself questions about its shape and patterns, you can gain valuable insights into your data set and use these insights to *hone your strategies for targeting customers*.

### Identify Trends and Patterns

Once you have created the histogram, you can use it to identify trends and patterns in the data that might not be visible when looking at a single spreadsheet cell. For example, if the data is about customer purchases, you might look for patterns related to seasonality or product popularity. You may also notice trends over time by studying the shape of the histogram at various points.

When identifying trends and patterns from a histogram, it is useful to start by looking at the overall shape of your chart. This will give you an idea of general characteristics such as whether the data is uniform, normal or skewed. You can also examine whether any outliers are present.

Additionally, consider details like peak values and average values to determine important trends or patterns in your data set. Here are some specific characteristics:

**Mode**– The point on the graph with the greatest frequency.**Peak**– The highest point on the graph.**Average**– The midpoint between minimum and maximum values.**Range**– The distance between minimum and maximum values.

By understanding how these characteristics relate to one another in your histogram, you can look for correlations that may not be obvious from looking at individual cells or rows of data in Excel spreadsheets. These insights can then be used to guide decision-making or further investigations into understanding customer preferences or behaviors.

## Share Your Histogram

After you have created your **histogram in Excel**, you may want to share it with your colleagues or clients. There are several different ways to share your Excel histogram, including:

- Emailing it
- Sharing it on your company intranet
- Embedding it on your website

In this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to *share your histogram*.

### Save Your Histogram

Once you’ve finished constructing your histogram in Excel, you’ll need to save it. It can be helpful to **save a copy of the spreadsheet before adding the histogram**, especially if you plan on making any changes or updates.

To save the spreadsheet containing your histogram, click ‘**File**’ and then click ‘**Save As**’. You will then be prompted to select a *file type for your Excel document.* For example, if the document contains calculations or other complex features, it is best to save the file as an .xlsx document; otherwise, you can opt for a simpler format such as .csv or .txt. Once you have selected a file type, click ‘**Save**’ and **name your spreadsheet**.

If you wish to share your completed histogram with others online, there should be an option on Excel’s toolbar which allows you to convert directly from an outline of data columns into a chart that can easily be shared and viewed by multiple users online through presentation services such as Slideshare or Google Presentations. **This makes creating an online version of your completed chart quick and easy!**

### Share Your Histogram

**An Excel histogram** is one of many data visualization tools that you can use to make sense of your data. Histograms allow you to quickly and easily communicate to your stakeholders the shape, center, spread, and variability of your data. By sharing an Excel histogram with them, they will be able to get a quick snapshot of the underlying patterns in your dataset without having to analyze it themselves.

To share your histogram in Excel, follow these steps:

- Open the histogram chart by selecting a column of data or entering a formula in the
*“Source” field*. - Select the graph type you want from the
*“Chart Type” dropdown menu*. - Adjust the chart properties as desired (such as bin size or groupings).
- Right-click on the chart and select
*“Copy Chart”*from the popup menu that appears. - Paste the chart into your PowerPoint presentation or Microsoft Word document at any desired location on the page. To make changes to existing characteristics such as labels or colors after pasting it into a document, right-click on it again and click
*“Edit Data”*or simply right-click and select*“Format Chart Area”*for formatting options like font type, axis font size and title color.