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Radar Charts

June 24, 2014
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Today I learned an interesting feature in charts viz. radar charts. Actually what happened is that I went for a surprise inspection of a construction company. I had to compare the set benchmark for construction and installation of some of its parameters like civil work, parking area development, air conditioning, glass façade, flooring and internal finishing, lifts and lighting with the actual work done by the company. I had to visually present the data to my senior. I did some research and found that there are many ways to present data visually. But, I found the radar charts most interesting ones.

The first question that comes to our mind is what do we mean by the term radar charts? Radar chart is a graphical representation of more than one variable in 2 dimensional form represented on an axis starting from the same point.

The radar chart is also known as spider chart, web chart, start chart, cobweb chart, kiviat diagram, star plot, irregular polygon and polar chart.

It graphically shows the gaps among five to ten organizational performance areas. It displays the important categories of performance and makes visible concentrations of strengths and weaknesses.

It basically shows how a team has evaluated a number of organisational performance areas. It is therefore very important that initial evaluation should include all the various perspectives in order to provide an overall and realistic picture of performance.

This is how a radar chart looks like:

Radar Chart example in excel

An example has been displayed above. It shows the various performance parameters of an employee like speed, accuracy, integrity, quality, innovation etc plotted on the equi- angular spokes called radii, with each spoke representing one variable.

I had the data shown below available with me.

Radar Chart example with data

The benchmark construction column shows the percentage of construction that must have been completed by now. And the actual construction column shows the actual progress made by the company. After learning about the radar charts and their construction, I obtained this radar chart.

Radar chart construction

The blue line represents the benchmark construction and the orange line represents the actual construction by the company and the grey colour lines represent the percentage of construction for all parameters. See how easy it has become for us to compare our results. It clearly indicates that the company is lagging behind the set benchmark.

Let us now learn about their construction. Following are the steps to create the Radar Chart:

1) Select the data

Radar chart construction in excel : Select the data

2) Go to Insert tab in the Ribbon

Radar chart construction in excel: Goto Insert tab

3) Within Insert tab, go to “Insert Stock, Surface or Radar Chart”

Radar chart construction in excel: Surface Radar chart

4) Select the 2nd graph within “Radar Chart options”

Radar chart construction in excel: Select second graph

After performing the above 4 steps, we will get the following graph.

Radar chart construction in excel: Output

We need to perform few formatting techniques to make it presentable and clean.
1) Delete the "Chart Title"
2) Stretch the graph, so that all the numbers are visible clearly
3) You can change the web lines by clicking right on them and click on "Format Gridlines"
Following is the final result what you will get.

Radar chart construction in excel: Final chart

It was something interesting that we learned today. Hence, keep learning and always try to widen your horizon of knowledge. It doesn’t matters whether you are a banker, auditor or some engineer; it is always good to learn something new.


About the Author

Prior to co-founding EduPristine, Pawan has worked as an investment banker with Standard Chartered and Basel II Consultant with Crisil - A S&P Company. He has worked extensively on company valuation, price negotiation and taking companies public. He holds an engineering degree from IIT Bombay and MBA in finance form IIM Indore. He has written articles on finance for a national daily and a few portals. and takes lectures on finance for various corporates and B- Schools.


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