Control charts are a staple of the statistician's toolbox. They visualise the relationships between the variables of a process, including the number of observations, the process yield and other parameters. The flexible nature of a control chart allows for extensive customisation. While many programs exist to create complex control charts, Microsoft Excel is a versatile tool for creating charts of any kind. The software handles the requirements for control charting with ease. To be able to work with an Excel-based control chart is possible within just a few minutes.
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Download a control chart template for Microsoft Excel. A good free template is available from www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates/control-chart.html.>
Double-click the downloaded Excel template. The file will open in a Microsoft Excel window.
Choose the desired control chart format for your project. The two common control chart designs are listed as separate tabs at the bottom of the Excel window. The "XbarR" worksheet tab creates a control chart for mean and range calculations. The "XbarS" spreadsheet works with a control chart for mean and standard deviation.
Click on the control chart tab most appropriate for your project.
Type in the sample size, "n", and the "k" value control limit into the top of the worksheet in the labelled areas.
Paste or type the X-bar and standard deviation or range values for your data set into the worksheet's table located below the control chart display. Do not alter the greyed-out columns or the "Sample" column.
View the control chart for your data and parameters. The chart in the main worksheet window automatically updates based on your criteria.
Tips and warnings
- If necessary, add or delete data rows to the data table at the bottom of the spreadsheet. To delete unused rows, right-click on the row number and choose the "Delete" option from the pop-up context menu.
- To add rows, right-click on the grey row at the bottom of the data table and choose the "Insert" command.
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