When handling data, you may reach a point and get stranded since certain aspects require you to be competent enough to navigate the process. Have you ever reached a point where you need to create one chart or even two different charts that have closely related data? This mostly happens in cases where you want to evaluate the raw numbers of leads you have generated from different marketing channels.

However, outlining two sets of data on a single chart makes it easier for data professionals to identify the patterns and other available trends you need to know. The problem is that you must have incredible analytical data skills to navigate the process. By combining two different charts into one, you will have two sets of data with two Y axes and varying scales.

Many people experience challenges once they reach this point since they fail to understand the best way going forward. When you reach this point, you need to incorporate the secondary axis to make navigating the process easier. The secondary axis is meant to help you utilize the same x-axis when using two different sets of the y-axis on two different scales.

However, knowing the secondary axis does not mean you are fully covered. You need to understand how to insert the secondary axis in Excel to solve the challenges you are likely to encounter. Remember that people use different devices to visualize data with different goals. This means that you need to understand how to insert the secondary axis when working on different devices.

This write-up covers a series of essential aspects that you need to know when installing a secondary axis on your charts.

Installing the Secondary Axis

Installing the Secondary axis involves a series of steps that you need to understand how they operate. Let’s check out the necessary steps!

Collect Your Data into Microsoft Excel

When you want to analyze data, the first step is to collect it from different sources and export it to Excel or any other worksheet you intend to use. Ensure that the data is outlined clearly so that there are values for both the x and y-axis. However, there is something different that you need to add when you want to create the secondary axis. After collecting the data, you need to display it in three different categories.

You need to have three rows representing the x-axis, y-axis and secondary axis. Recheck your values to ensure that you are dealing with data that is accurate to ensure that the final data output is what you expected. You can use it to make essential decisions within your business.

Generate a Chart with the Data

Remember that the collected data is meant to generate a particular chart. Once you have exported the values to Excel and classified them approximately, the next step is highlighting the data you want to appear on the chart. Click the “insert” tab on the man menu and open the “chart” button. When the chart options appear, click on the small vertical bar at the top on your left side.

Different chart options will be displayed on your screen, and click on the 2-D column. Immediately you click on the button, and a chart on your screen outlining the data you had highlighted at the beginning. This marks the beginning of the process of inserting the secondary axis in your data chart.

Include the Second Data Series

This is when you need to add the second data series to the chart. When you look at the chart created keenly, you will realize that there are two tabs at the end of the dashboard. The two tabs are named “design” and “format.” At this point, you need to click on the “format” tab, which will then open a new menu. On the new menu, click on the drop-down menu known as the chart area. At this point, you have the freedom to select what works well for you, such as the percentage or anything else that you want on the secondary axis.

Upon making your choice, a few changes will appear on the chart formed on your screen. However, you need to understand that your choice at this stage depends on the nature of the data you are healing with.

Switch the Data from the Primary Y axis to the Secondary Y axis

In the initial stage, you will realize a few data changes on the chart. At this point, the data in the chart is regarded as a low-lying series of columns outlined within the primary Y axis. When you want to give this data a secondary Y axis, you need to double click on any of the bats outlined above the x-axis line until when you get all the values highlighted. After all the data is highlighted, you will see a menu bar called to format the data series. This menu will appear on the right-hand side of your computer screen.

On the menu bar on the screen, click on the secondary axis to switch the data depending on what you want. Ensure that you switch the data depending on your preferred data series to make the chart address all your specific data needs.

Adjust Your Formatting

Upon inserting the secondary axis, you will realize that a series of changes come up on your chart. You need to make a few changes to the chart to ensure that the secondary axis is outlined clearly. Remember that the chart is likely to affect how other values are outlined on the chart to ensure that the message you intend to communicate is passed clearly. To make edits, highlight the secondary bar and click on the “design” tab.

You can then click on the “change chart type“, and you will get a wide room to make the changes. When you expand the format menu, a drop-down menu will pop up that has more formatting features that you can use to ensure that the secondary scale is in the right position.


The ultimate goal of the secondary axis is to help you outline a bunch of data in a single chart and make it easy to read. In addition, the axis gives you more room to evaluate the relationship between different data components outlined in a single chart or two different charts. Creating the axis makes it easier for data analysts to collect all the essential information in patterns and trends that can be used to make proper development decisions.

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