Excel Sunburst Chart
Sunburst chart is a nice way of presenting relational datasets together in a compact form. This chart type is very strong in summarizing data but can be a little hard to read. Nevertheless, it looks pretty. That’s why I am going to show you how to make an Excel Sunburst Chart.
Sunburst chart is basically a stacked pie chart. It is created by stacking necessary amount of pie charts on top of each other. But there is a couple of tricks to do in order to make a decent one.
As an example, I am going to visualize project teams for a fictional software project. Here are the steps for creating an Excel Sunburst Chart for visualizing project teams:
This is our project team data. It is not very useful in this state. So we need to make some arrangements to make it suitable for a sunburst chart.
Here is the arranged version of same data. I made 3 groups from this data as Project manager, groups and team members. I assigned identical values to each team member to be able to plot them as visible data series. Team names gets the total value of their members. And project manager gets overall total value.
Now that our data is ready, let’s start building our chart:
- Insert a pie chart for each data groups. To insert pie chart, select cells; Project manager B1:C1, groups B3:C9 and team members B11:C44. Than insert a pie chart each time.
- Delete any legend, title, etc. on charts.
- Set background fill color as “no fill” and border color as “no color” for project manager and group charts.
- Resize charts arranging team members as largest and project manager as smallest.
- Place 3 charts on top of each other and align using lines between slices. We are doing this to get a feeling of how things are going to look like when finished. This is how it is supposed to look like at this stage:
- Now add data labels to each pie and select appropriate option from label options to display PM, group and member names. You may need to move charts to apply these changes. It is not a problem, we will re-stack them again anyway.
- Now that we have our labels displayed correctly, we need to reposition them to fit into their respective slices. For project manager and groups, just reposition labels by dragging them.
- For group members, you shouldn’t move labels. Make sure “Best Fit” is selected for label position. Select each label and adjust its alignment value from label options until it fits into related slice. Excel will position it inside the slide when it has a suitable alignment value.
- Re-stack pie charts when you are happy with labels.
- Now adjust colors of slices as you like. Coloring from lighter tones to darker tones and coloring related slices with same color is a good style. I colored each group with a separate color. Then I colored each member with a darker tone of same color as the group they belong to.
- Add a chart title if you like.
You can download example workbook for this Excel Sunburst Chart and inspect it yourself. You can also leave a comment below if you have any question regarding this tutorial or just to say hi 🙂