How to Create a Funnel Chart to Represent a Diminishing Flow of Data

AUTHOR:  JASON MORRELL 

Jason Morrell

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Funnels are commonly used to represent a diminishing flow.

A classic example is filtering candidates for a vacant job position.

Consider the following data. There are 200 applicants, of which 50 get invited to interview, 20 receive a second interview & assessment and 2 get hired.

How to set up your data before you create your funnel chart

1. How to create a funnel chart in Excel

To create a funnel chart to represent this data

1.  Set up your data in two columns like the example shown above.

2.  Ensure that the numerical data is sorted in descending order (use the Data tab | Z-A icon).

3.  Select a single cell in your data to allow Excel to select the entire range or select the specific data range you wish to use.

4.  Click the Insert tab.

Click the Waterfall, Funnel, Stock, Surface, or Radar Chart icon in the Charts group, then choose Funnel.

Alternatively, click Recommended Charts | All Charts tab | Funnel Chart.

Where to find the Funnel chart amongst the Chart types

Your funnel chart will look similar to this:

A funnel chart showing stats at different stages of a job application process

2. How to change the text colour

To change the text colour:

1.  Click any data label, go to the Home tab and select a suitable font colour.

3. How to overlay the data labels on the bars

To put the data labels on the funnel bars instead of to one side (if there is sufficient room:

1.  Click on the top-right edge of the chart.

2.  Choose Data Labels | More Data Label Options, then tick Category Name.

3.  Click once on the existing axis labels and hit Delete.

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell


Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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