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How to Graph Survey Results

Updated February 21, 2017

Surveys are a simple and effective way to learn more about people and groups. The use of surveys to collect data is prevalent in the work environment, educational projects and in the media. Data collection is relatively easy and can be done via door-to-door, on-the-street sampling, phone, direct mail, e-mail. But once the data is collected, what's next? Creating a graph to display survey results is easy to achieve with common programs like Microsoft Excel and its Chart Wizard. Turn numbers into an attractive graphic in six simple steps.

Open Microsoft Excel. Open an existing workbook that includes survey data in rows or columns, or enter survey data in rows or columns. Select only the cells that include the survey data to be graphed.

Select “Chart Wizard” from the Excel toolbar or, from the drop-down menu, click “Insert” and “Chart …” This will launch the Microsoft Excel Chart Wizard. Click “Next.”

Select chart type in Step 1 of the Chart Wizard. Click “Standard Types” and select Pie. Note: the Pie graph is noted by numerous academic institutions, including Vanderbilt University, as the best format for graphing survey results. Click “Next.”

Confirm the graph is correct in Step 2, which charts the data. If desired, name the pie graph under the “Series” tab; enter graph name in the “Name:” field and click “Add.” Click “Next.”

Make visual adjustments to the graph in Step 3. Move the graph legend under the “Legend” tab. Add desired information to data pie pieces under the “Data Labels” tab. Click “Next.”

Save pie graph on its own or add to an established document in Step 4 of the Chart Wizard. Click “Finish.” Again save graph or document that includes graph to ensure work has been saved.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Microsoft Excel
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About the Author

Jamie Witt began her writing career in 2005 by assisting in the launch of a daily newspaper. Previous roles in newspaper have included reporter, photographer, copy editor and assistant managing editor. She moved into advertising with an emphasis on public relations, copy writing and copy editing. Witt studied Journalism and English at Indiana University.