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Excel Video 463 describes surface charts, radar charts, area charts, and scatter charts. I rarely use any of these charts. I’ve struggled to find an application in a medical practice for any of those charts that’s not easier to understand and more cleanly expressed in a basic column or line chart. If you have seen a use for surface, radar, area, or scatter charts that’s better expressed in that format, please let me know. Occasionally I will use scatter charts as a tool to make a chart do something fancy, but often a basic line chart will do just fine.

Bubble charts are new enough that they might be helpful in your practice. The idea behind a bubble chart is that you can express more information in one chart. Notice I’m charting the month, the number of new patients, and the average new patient dollars/visit in one chart. The month and the number of new patients are the x and y axes and the size of the bubble is the average dollars/visit. Excel Video 463 has an example if you think your providers or administrators would like a bubble chart, but combo charts are what I generally use to display more information on a single chart. We’ll start talking about combo charts in the next Excel Video. I look forward to seeing you then.