Craft Speedometer Charts in Excel 2016: A Guide

Excel Last updated: March 6, 2024


Creating a speedometer gauge chart in Excel 2016 might seem like a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, with the right guidance, you can master this skill to visually represent data in a dynamic and easy-to-understand format. This article will walk you through the process of creating a speedometer gauge chart in Excel 2016, from the basics of chart creation to customizing your chart for maximum impact.

Key Highlights

  • Understand the basics of speedometer gauge charts
  • Learn step-by-step how to create a speedometer chart in Excel 2016
  • Discover tips for customizing and enhancing your chart
  • Explore common uses and applications of speedometer charts
  • Gain insights on troubleshooting common issues

Understanding Speedometer Gauge Charts

Understanding Speedometer Gauge Charts

Embarking on the journey of crafting speedometer gauge charts in Excel 2016, it's paramount to first grasp their essence and utility in the vast ocean of data visualization. Speedometer charts, with their visually captivating design, offer a unique approach to depicting data in a manner that's both intuitive and engaging. This section peels back the layers of speedometer gauge charts, illuminating their concept, design, and the myriad scenarios where they shine the brightest in conveying data.

What is a Speedometer Gauge Chart?

Imagine glancing at your car's dashboard; the speedometer catches your eye, its needle pointing precisely to your current speed. A Speedometer Gauge Chart in Excel mirrors this design, serving as a dynamic tool to display data as part of a whole. Its circular form represents a range of values, with a needle indicating the current status or performance. Why do they resemble vehicle speedometers? Simply because it's a universally understood design, making it straightforward for anyone to interpret the data at a glance. This design choice in Excel is not just about aesthetics; it's about making data accessible and digestible, turning numbers into stories that speak volumes.

Applications and Uses

Speedometer charts find their place in scenarios where data visualization needs to be immediate and impactful. Let's explore a few: - Performance Dashboards: Whether it's sales targets, customer service ratings, or production levels, speedometer charts provide a clear snapshot of where metrics stand in relation to goals. - Personal Dashboards: For individuals tracking personal goals like fitness progress or budget adherence, these charts offer a visual representation of how close one is to achieving their targets. - Project Management: In the realm of project timelines and milestones, speedometer charts can indicate how a project's progress measures up against planned schedules.

By translating data into a visual format that's quick to assess, speedometer charts enhance the decision-making process, making them a valuable tool in both professional and personal contexts.

Creating a Speedometer Chart in Excel 2016

Creating a Speedometer Chart in Excel 2016

Dive into the world of Excel 2016 and master the art of creating a speedometer chart with this easy-to-follow guide. Perfect for beginners, this tutorial will walk you through each step, from inserting your first doughnut chart to adding the final touches that bring your data to life. Let's get started!

Inserting a Doughnut Chart

First things first, let's lay our foundation with a doughnut chart. Here's how:

  1. Open Excel 2016 and select your data range.
  2. Navigate to the Insert tab and click on the Doughnut Chart under the Charts group. Choose the first option.
  3. A blank chart appears! This will be the base of our speedometer.

Why a doughnut chart, you ask? Its circular shape perfectly mimics the look of a traditional speedometer, making it an ideal starting point. Plus, it's a great way to get familiar with Excel's charting tools. As you get comfortable, you'll find this foundational step crucial for more complex visualizations.

Adding Data to Your Chart

With your doughnut chart in place, it's time to fuel it with data. Here's how to ensure your chart reflects the speed you're trying to measure:

  1. Right-click on the chart and choose Select Data.
  2. Add your data range. For a simple speedometer, split your range into three segments (e.g., low, medium, high).
  3. Excel will automatically update the chart to reflect your data segments.

Remember, the goal here is precision. Adjusting your data allows you to represent different speeds accurately, making your chart not just visually appealing but informative. Whether tracking project milestones or measuring performance, the right data setup ensures your speedometer chart tells the story you want.

Customizing the Chart

Now for the fun part—customization! Let's make your chart pop:

  1. Change colors to differentiate segments. Right-click on a segment and choose Format Data Point.
  2. Add labels for clarity. Click on the Add Chart Element in the Design tab.
  3. Adjust the doughnut hole size for a sleeker look. Right-click the chart, select Format Data Series, and slide to adjust.

These touches not only enhance the visual appeal but also aid in readability. A well-customized chart conveys your message at a glance, turning complex data into simple, digestible visuals. Whether it's a business presentation or a personal project, a finely tuned speedometer chart can significantly impact your audience.

Elevate Your Excel Skills: Mastering Speedometer Charts

Elevate Your Excel Skills: Mastering Speedometer Charts

Have you ever wished to elevate your data visualization game in Excel? Well, crafting a speedometer chart not only makes your reports visually appealing but also highly informative. Let's dive deep into how you can enhance your basic speedometer chart, turning it into a captivating masterpiece that tells a story at a glance.

Adding a Needle to Your Speedometer Chart

The essence of a speedometer chart lies in its needle; it's what transforms a doughnut chart into a visually striking speedometer. Here's how you can add and customize a needle to your chart, making it not just resemble, but almost leap off the page as a real speedometer:

  • Start with a Combo Chart: Use a combination of a doughnut and a pie chart. The pie chart, acting as the needle, needs to be superimposed on the doughnut chart.
  • Customize the Pie Chart: Format the pie chart to have only two sections - one transparent (acting as the invisible part) and the other colored to represent the needle. Adjust the size to align perfectly with the doughnut chart.
  • Position the Needle: Rotate the pie chart so the colored section points to the value you wish to highlight. This visual representation brings dynamic insights to your data.

By following these steps, you’ll not only add a needle but breathe life into your speedometer chart, making it an engaging tool for presenting data.

Unlocking Advanced Customization Options for Your Speedometer Chart

While a basic speedometer chart is good, a customized one is great. Delving into advanced customization can significantly improve the clarity and aesthetics of your chart. Here’s what you can explore:

  • Play with Colors: Use conditional formatting to change the color of the needle based on the value it points to. This can help in quickly assessing performance as good, average, or poor.
  • Add Text Boxes for Clear Labels: Instead of relying on chart legends, strategically place text boxes to label parts of your speedometer. This can make your chart more informative and self-explanatory.
  • Incorporate Effects for Emphasis: Adding shadow effects or glow to the needle or certain sections of the doughnut can emphasize important data points, making them stand out.

These enhancements not only make your speedometer chart more visually appealing but also turn it into a powerful storytelling tool in your data presentation arsenal.

Harnessing Speedometer Charts in Data Visualization

Harnessing Speedometer Charts in Data Visualization

Dive into the dynamic world of speedometer charts in Excel 2016 and discover their unmatched potential in presenting data. These charts, with their intuitive design, serve as a powerful tool for visualizing data in an engaging and easily understandable manner. Let’s explore the diverse applications of speedometer charts across various domains, highlighting their effectiveness in enhancing data presentation.

Revolutionizing Performance Dashboards

Performance dashboards are the nerve centers for monitoring the health and efficiency of various operations across industries. Here's how speedometer charts can transform these dashboards:

  • Real-Time Monitoring: In the fast-paced world of sales, speedometer charts offer a real-time snapshot of sales performance against targets, making it easier for teams to adjust strategies on the fly.
  • Simplified Data Interpretation: The healthcare sector employs these charts to display patient stats, such as heart rate or blood pressure, enabling quick and easy interpretation by medical professionals.
  • Enhanced Engagement: In the educational domain, speedometer charts are used to showcase students' performance, attendance rates, or progress towards learning objectives, making data more relatable and actionable for both educators and students.

By incorporating speedometer charts into performance dashboards, organizations can foster a culture of transparency, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions swiftly.

Tracking Goals with Precision

Goal tracking is an essential practice across various settings, from personal development to corporate management. Speedometer charts serve as a visual anchor for this purpose:

  • Personal Fitness Goals: For individuals tracking fitness progress, such as weight loss or training intensity, speedometer charts provide a motivational glimpse into how close one is to achieving their personal benchmarks.
  • Project Milestones: In project management, these charts visually represent progress towards milestones, offering a clear view of what has been accomplished and what remains, thereby facilitating better planning and resource allocation.
  • Financial Objectives: Financial analysts use speedometer charts to depict investment growth or budget adherence, simplifying complex financial data into digestible visuals for stakeholders.

The application of speedometer charts in goal tracking not only simplifies the visualization of progress but also injects a sense of urgency and motivation, driving individuals and teams towards the achievement of their targets.

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Speedometer Chart Creation

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Speedometer Chart Creation

Creating speedometer charts in Excel 2016 can sometimes feel like navigating through a maze—exciting yet fraught with challenges. Whether it's data that refuses to mold itself into the visual masterpiece you envisioned, or the customization features that seem just out of reach, this section aims to guide you through the common pitfalls with ease. Let's dive into the world of troubleshooting, ensuring your journey from data to visualization is as smooth as a freshly paved road.

Fixing Data Display Errors in Speedometer Charts

Ever looked at your speedometer chart and felt something was off? Like a puzzle missing a piece, data not displaying correctly can be perplexing. Here's how to get back on track:

  • Check Your Data Range: Ensure your data range encompasses all the necessary cells. It's easy to miss a cell or two.
  • Verify Data Format: Excel is picky with formats. Numbers should ideally be in numeric format, not text.
  • Use of Helper Columns: Sometimes, direct data input isn't enough. Creating a helper column to calculate percentages or segments can offer more control and accuracy.

Remember, data is the fuel of your speedometer chart. Ensuring it's correctly set up is pivotal. For an in-depth guide on Excel data formatting, consider visiting ExcelJet. It's a treasure trove of Excel tips and tricks.

Overcoming Customization Hurdles in Excel 2016

Feeling restricted by Excel 2016's customization options? You're not alone. Customizing your speedometer chart to reflect your unique style or brand can sometimes feel like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. But, fear not! Here's how you can expand your customization toolkit:

  • Explore Conditional Formatting: While not directly applicable to charts, conditional formatting can enhance your chart's data source, making the visual representation more dynamic.
  • Dive into VBA: Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripts can unlock a new level of customization. Adding a needle or changing the chart's color based on values can be achieved with VBA.

Embrace the challenge, and remember, limitations often inspire creativity. For those ready to take the plunge into VBA, offers a plethora of resources to get you started.


Creating a speedometer gauge chart in Excel 2016 is an invaluable skill for visually representing data in an engaging and understandable way. With the steps and tips provided in this guide, beginners can confidently create and customize their own charts. Whether for business presentations, personal projects, or academic purposes, mastering speedometer charts in Excel can elevate your data visualization to the next level.


Q: What is a speedometer chart in Excel?

A: A speedometer chart, often used in dashboards, visually represents data in a format resembling a vehicle's speedometer. It's particularly effective for displaying performance against a target range.

Q: Can Excel 2016 create speedometer charts natively?

A: While Excel 2016 doesn't have a built-in speedometer chart type, you can craft one by combining doughnut and pie charts. This guide is tailored to help Excel beginners achieve that.

Q: Is creating a speedometer chart in Excel 2016 difficult?

A: For beginners, it might seem challenging at first. However, with step-by-step guidance, it's achievable and can significantly improve your data presentation skills.

Q: Why use a speedometer chart for data presentation?

A: Speedometer charts are efficient for comparing actual performance against predetermined targets or ranges, making complex data more understandable at a glance.

Q: What are common issues when creating speedometer charts in Excel?

A: Common issues include data not displaying correctly or difficulties in customization. These can often be resolved with careful adjustments and following troubleshooting tips.

Q: How do I add a needle to the speedometer chart in Excel 2016?

A: Adding a needle involves creating a combination chart with a pie chart overlay. This simulates the needle. Detailed steps are provided in the guide for clarity.

Q: Can I customize the colors in my Excel speedometer chart?

A: Yes, Excel 2016 allows you to customize the colors of your speedometer chart, including the doughnut sections and the needle, to enhance readability or match your presentation theme.

Q: Where can speedometer charts be used effectively?

A: Speedometer charts are versatile and can be used in performance dashboards, goal tracking, and any scenario where visualizing performance against a target is beneficial.

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