Creating Side by Side time comparisons using Excel

We have got Sales for 3 products over period of 12 months & to understand the trend, we plotted a simple line chart. However, the graph looks quite jumbled up & it is bit difficult for us to comment which product category is growing & which is maintaining consistency or degrowth over these 12 months. Is there a better way of showing the data so that it is easy for us to visualize the data trends?

The Solution is Comparative trending, it is a simple concept wherein two or more data series are charted in a single chart so that trends from different data series can be visually compared. Refer below chart:

Above chart clearly shows that Product B is growing at a much faster pace than Product A & Product C.

How to make this kind of side by side comparison chart?? In order to create such a chart, we need to restructure the data as shown below. Instead of placing all the data in a single column, we need t0 keep the data in a staggered way. This tells the chart to create 3 separate lines.

Do you like this concept? Do share your feedback in comments.

Practice-file (17 downloads)

 

 

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