Content Creation

How To Create a Comparative Bubble Chart Data Visualization


Published: May 2, 2013 (Updated: February 2, 2023)

Bubble charts are unique data visualizations. They use the layout of a scatterplot to show you information on the x and y axes. But the size of each plot point also tells you more information about the data, like sales growth. You may use bubble charts with your written marketing content to explain complex concepts or add visuals to otherwise boring blocks of text. Today, we’re walking you through the steps of creating a bubble chart in Microsoft Excel.

6 Steps To Create a Comparative Bubble Chart in Microsoft Excel

ecommerce by category bubble chart

Image via Mekko Graphics

You don’t need to have an expert graphic designer on your team to accompany your content with amazing visuals. Follow these steps to learn how to create a bubble chart with data you input into Microsoft Excel:

1. Open Microsoft Excel

Open Microsoft Excel on your computer and open a new workbook. While you can use a previously created spreadsheet to generate a bubble chart in Microsoft Excel, we’re going to show you how to make one from scratch. If you don’t have access to Microsoft programs, don’t worry. You can also make bubble charts in spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets. The process is similar, but the button names and command prompts may differ in wording and location.

2. Add Data to the Spreadsheet

You can create a bubble chart with any data set as long as you have three variables for each item in your chart. Bubble charts work best for showing growth by volume over time. These might be great visuals for content like eBooks or white papers that explain how working with your company increases growth, sales, or expansion.

bubble chart spreasheet data

In your new sheet, make a column for each variable. Column A is the name of each data point. In our fictional example, these are services CopyPress offers clients. Column B is the information that appears on the X-axis and column C is the information that appears on the Y-axis. In our example, this is the number of clients per service and the price per service. Finally, column D influences the size of each point in the bubble chart. It’s usually represented as a percentage, like the service percentage increase in the example.

If you’re looking for places to collect data for your spreadsheets, request your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This report tells you how your content compares to that of your top three competitors. It also gives you information about gaps in your content strategy to figure out how to better target your audience with content. Use this report along with your other data to develop your bubble chart.


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3. Generate the Chart

To generate your bubble chart within Excel, first, highlight all the data you want to include. In our example above, that’s all the cells. Then follow these command prompts:

  1. Click “Insert” from the top menu
  2. Select “Other Charts” from the menu
  3. Select “Bubble Chart”

bubble chart example

Related: Data Visualizations vs. Infographics

4. Adjust Spacing and Layout

The image above shows a bubble chart generated from the spreadsheet program. But it’s not the prettiest. It’s also missing a title and labels for the X and Y axes. You can customize your chart before exporting it to make it look more professional and to make the information clearer for your audience.

5. Export the Bubble Chart

Save your chart as an image so you can use it in other content. To do this, use the following commands:

  1. Click the chart you want to save.
  2. Choose “Copy” from the top toolbar, or press CTRL+C on your keyboard.
  3. Open a graphics editing program like Photoshop or Microsoft Paint.
  4. Paste the image into a new document by clicking “Paste” in the toolbar of the editor program or by clicking CTRL+V on your keyboard.
  5. Use “Save” under “File” in the editing program’s toolbar to save the chart as an image file. Jpg. and png. formats typically work best for most content.

6. Add It To Your Content

Open your content editor and upload the bubble chart where you’d like it to appear within your document. When you work with CopyPress for your eBooks and white papers, our proprietary content management system (CMS) Dante lets us include images in any content piece. That way, you can see how your charts look within your written pieces before publication. Ready to get started? Schedule an introductory call with CopyPress today to learn how we help you create stellar content, visuals included, with your vision as our guide.


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