Create a Pareto Chart in Excel in 2 steps – Easy Tutorial

Aug 22, 2020 | Microsoft Excel Tutorial

Pareto Chart In Excel – Overview

This tutorial teaches you how to create a Pareto Chart in Excel in 2 simple steps. A Pareto Chart or Pareto Diagram helps to turn your data into clear visualizable actionable insights. It highlights what really matters by putting emphasis on the most important drivers of a phenomenon.

A Pareto Chart illustrates the Pareto distribution that may exist with your data.  A Pareto Distribution is observed when the Pareto Principle holds. The Pareto Principle (or “20-80 rule” or “Law of the Vital Few”) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. As an example, illustrations in this tutorial will show that 80% of the customer complaints ensue from only 20% of the products. For more details about the Pareto Principle, please refer to the FAQ by clicking here.

Pareto Chart In Excel – Example
Pareto Chart in Excel
Pareto Chart In Excel – VIDEO Tutorial with 2 Simple Steps
To create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2016, Excel 2019 or Excel 365, simply execute these 2 steps

STEP 1 – Select your data: 1 column for the “causes” and 1 column for their “impacts”.  There is no need for the data to be sorted.

Create an Excel Pareto Chart - Select Data - 1 column for "causes" + 1 column for "impacts"


STEP 2 – Select Pareto Chart in the ribbon: Insert > Insert Statistical Chart > Pareto. The Pareto Chart you get is then ready to be customized!

Insert - Statistical Chart - Pareto Chart
Pareto Chart in Excel - Default Excel Pareto Chart

That’s it! Congratulations!  

Additionally, you can customize your Excel Pareto Chart your own way. There are 2 ways to customize your Pareto Chart in Excel: chart design menu in the ribbon + right-click menus in the chart

1 – In the ribbon, several design options are available under the Chart Design menu:

Chart Design in the Excel ribbon

2 – In the Pareto Chart, the menus you get by right-clicking provide you as well with different design options:

Design options when right-clicking in the chart
To create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2013, simply follow the tutorial below

>> Pareto Chart  in Excel 2013 <<

To create a Pareto Chart in Excel 2010, simply follow the tutorial below

>> Pareto Chart  in Excel 2010 <<

Pareto chart in Excel – Free Templates

You can download the free template used as a Pareto Chart example in this tutorial:

  >> Download the Free Excel Pareto Chart Template <<

You can download the free template provided by Microsoft Office that combines a Pareto Analysis in a table with a Pareto Chart:

>> Download the Free Cost Analysis & Pareto Chart Template from Microsoft <<

Pareto Chart In Excel  – Pareto Analysis in An Excel SHEET or VIA A Pareto Chart? What is the best?

In some circumstances, the Pareto Chart may be scattered with too many pieces of information; it may not yield clear visualizable and actionable insights.  It happens when the data set is large and contains numerous items (“causes”) to analyze.

In such a case, we recommend you to crunch the data with a direct Pareto Analysis in an Excel sheet. A Pareto Analysis can be done manually like explained in this Pareto Analysis Excel tutorial in 5 simple steps.  To automate a Pareto Analysis in just one-click like shown in the DEMO section of this website,  you can use an Excel Pareto Analysis Add-In. An Excel Add-in is particularly useful for Excel users who have to do Pareto Analysis in Excel on a frequent basis. The Excel Pareto Analysis Add-In also helps to save time when the data-set to analyze is defined with active filters in Excel. These filters can stay in place when using the Add-in hence avoiding additional time-consuming steps of data preparation.

Pareto Chart In Excel – Conclusion

With Microsoft Excel 2016 and more recent versions, it takes only 2 steps to build a Pareto Chart. Since it is very fast and easy, we advise you to always have a look at the data you work with by making a Pareto Chart. You may find insightful results that could lead to a better time or budget management in your business operations.

“A good business strategy is an operational execution driven by a Pareto Analysis”

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