Which Chart Type Is Best When You Want to Chart Two Unrelated Data Types in Excel?


Heather Bennett

When it comes to charting two unrelated data types in Excel, it’s important to choose the right chart type to effectively convey your information. In this article, we will explore different chart types and discuss which ones are best suited for this particular scenario.

1. Bar Charts

Bar charts are an excellent choice when you want to compare two unrelated data types. They provide a visual representation of quantitative data and allow for easy comparison between different categories.


  • Clear Comparison: Bar charts make it easy to visually compare two unrelated data types side by side.
  • Supports Large Datasets: Bar charts can handle large amounts of data without becoming cluttered or difficult to read.
  • Flexible: You can customize bar charts by changing the colors, axis labels, and other formatting options.


  • Limited Representation: Bar charts are not suitable for representing continuous or time-based data.
  • No Negative Values: If your data includes negative values, bar charts might not be the best choice as they typically only represent positive values.

2. Scatter Plots

A scatter plot is a great option when you want to visualize the relationship between two unrelated data types. It displays individual data points as dots on a graph, with one variable represented on the x-axis and the other on the y-axis.


  • Trend Identification: Scatter plots help identify trends, patterns, and correlations between two variables.
  • Continuous Data: Scatter plots work well with continuous data, making them suitable for analyzing numerical relationships.
  • Outlier Detection: Scatter plots can easily identify outliers that deviate from the general trend.


  • No Clear Comparison: Unlike bar charts, scatter plots do not provide a clear comparison between categories.
  • Data Overlapping: When dealing with a large number of data points, scatter plots can become cluttered and difficult to interpret.

3. Line Charts

If you want to chart two unrelated data types over time or any continuous scale, line charts are an excellent choice. They are commonly used to track changes and trends over a specified period.


  • Trend Identification: Line charts make it easy to identify trends and patterns in data over time or any continuous scale.
  • Data Comparison: Line charts allow for a comparison of multiple unrelated data types on the same graph.
  • Data Forecasting: By extending the line beyond the last data point, line charts can be used to make predictions or forecast future trends.


  • Categorical Data Limitation: Line charts are not suitable for representing categorical data as they rely on continuous scales or time-based values.
  • No Individual Data Points: Unlike scatter plots, line charts do not display individual data points but rather connect them with a line.


Choosing the right chart type is crucial when you want to chart two unrelated data types in Excel. Bar charts are ideal for comparing categories, scatter plots help visualize relationships, and line charts are perfect for tracking changes over time or continuous scales. Consider the nature of your data and the insights you want to convey to determine the best chart type for your needs.

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