Creating a 'slope chart' in Excel

Here you'll learn how to create what I'm calling a 'slope chart' using Excel

The basic concept of a slope chart goes like this:

slope chart concept

Slope charts are useful in cases where you have a number of sets of data (e.g. for different countries or different years) and want to compare how two values differed across those data sets. The differences show up as different slopes and it's easy to visually scan and spot extremes and trends.

Here are some examples of slope charts (click to see the originals):

This shows baseball team success versus salaries

baseball slope chart

This shows SAT scores versus student-teacher ratios:

SAT scores


Step 1: Learn how

a. Watch this video to see how to create a slope chart

The steps (as described in the video) are:

  1. create a line graph
  2. add a secondary axis
  3. move the vertical axis
  4. remove gridlines
  5. adjust for this particular data

b. Download the dataset you saw used in the video and recreate the file yourself

c. Download the beverage consumption dataset which you worked with before and create a Slope Chart comparing consumption of the various beverage types in 1970 compared to 2007

d. Save this as "SlopeChart".

FINAL PRODUCT: SlopeChart.xlsx