Analyzing data requires adopting different charts and graphs to make your work easier. Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular tools to help you visually store and display your data. You can choose to use a different graphical approach, such as a sunburst chart, one of the most popular options used in data visualization.

Understanding how to use a sunburst chart makes you one step ahead of your competitors. This means that you are likely to perform much better than your competitors, provided you utilize your data in the right way. In addition, this is one of the most popular charts and graphs used as a backup for your data processing needs.

The reality is that there is so much you need to learn about a sunburst chart and how it operates. This blog post covers everything you need to learn about the sunburst chart. Read on for more information!

What is a Sunburst Chart?

A sunburst chart is one of the most popular graphical methods used to present hierarchical data and display their closely related characteristics. This mode of data visualization aids in interpreting data sets using words and values to identify the relationship existing between the lines. Besides, the structure of a sunburst chart enables you to view data based on their preferred percentage.

You can easily customize a sunburst chart that suits the nature of your data and extract insights. Provided that you have the data, you intend to visualize, you can easily pick your preferred layout and convert your data into a graphical format that you can easily read and understand.

Once you have made up your mind that you want to analyze and transform your data sets, choose a simple approach that does not come with any sort of complexities. A sunburst chart is the most preferred option that can convert your data sets into simple visuals that you can easily read and draw conclusions.

Characteristics of a Sunburst Chart

Some of the most popular characteristics of a sunburst chart are the varying sizes and the colors of the circles. It has different circle segments that are spread from the center of the point through the chart. The chart features a circular structure with a series of ring levels representing the tiers in the data set.

Not that the smallest and the innermost ring is used to represent the first level. As the rings expand from one level to the next, they showcase different levels hierarchically. In addition, the chart features divisions that display how much a piece of data contributes to the previous category.

Using this chart to visualize your data, you can easily identify some of your largest data sets’ contributors. As a result, you get it easier to draw conclusions from your data since everything is outlined in a clear and concise manner. Furthermore, you can also depict any adjustments in your data since all the data values are outlined hierarchically.

Application of a Sunburst Chart

In most cases, the sunburst chart is used for conducting evaluations and other forms of analytical reports to outline values of specific data categories. The data categories include a certain number of weeks of sales performance, the accomplishments of a particular department, and many others.

When you present data in a hierarchical manner, drawing conclusions from the data sets becomes pretty simple. Business owners use this methodology to extract insights from their daily operations data. It helps them to understand the milestones that they have achieved over a certain duration in business.

Once you are done creating the chart, the sunburst algorithm issues recommendations on the final data report. Even though the sunburst chart is mostly used in data analysis and reporting, you can also tweak your approach and use it for personal referencing and tracking your performance. The final data report helps you to understand the areas that need improvement to enhance your personal growth.

Alternatively, you can use a sunburst chart to visualize and display the landing and navigation path available on your website. You can also use the chart to display insights in a file size using different modules in a given software package. This means that you don’t have to struggle with visualizing huge sets of data, but only acquire a sunburst chart and get the job done.

A huge number of businesses within Fortune 500 companies use a sunburst chart to evaluate the revenue sources of their businesses.  When you want to evaluate the hierarchy of the population around the globe, you can use this chart type to generate a detailed data report.

How to create a Sunburst Chart in Excel

Excel is the most reliable tool that you can use to create different types of charts and graphs. When you want to compose a sunburst chart for your data, Microsoft Excel should be your immediate home. How do you do it? Don’t worry; check this out!

Enter Your Data Set

The first step is to open your Microsoft Excel worksheet and enter your hierarchical data starting from the left to the right. Outline the data beginning with the first hierarchy level. Label all your data columns accordingly to identify the best categories for your information. Take time and review the data you have entered to ensure that it’s free from typos and everything is accurate.

Note that the data layout is critical in ensuring that your sunburst chart reflects the nature of the data you have. To create a presentable hierarchy chart, you need to have at least two levels of hierarchy. The lowest level should showcase the value of its category.

Highlight the Hierarchy of Data

Highlight all the hierarchical data on your Excel worksheet. Ensure that you only highlight the data that you want to appear on your sunburst chart. Making any error at this point is likely to affect the final results of the process.

Insert the Sunburst Chart

Excel has the ability to determine the hierarchical data sets and automatically present the sunburst chart in the recommended charts. Navigate to the menu at the top of your worksheet and click “Insert.” Also, you can easily access the sunburst chart by clicking on the hierarchy button.

Upon pressing this button, a drop-down menu will appear, giving you the sunburst chart option. Click on the chart, and it will appear on your worksheet.

Customize Your Chart

Once the sunburst chart appears on your screen, it does not mark the end of the process. You can change the color palette of the existing sunburst chart to enhance the readability and visualization of the chart. It’s one way of making your visuals fit the nature of your audience. Excel comes with an exceptional monochromatic color palette that you can use.

Ensure that you tailor the chart to make it suit your color logo and the nature of your brand. To make these changes, click on the “Design” button to access the editing panel and change the color combination.

Format Your Sunburst Chart

This is the point where you need to make different types of changes on your sunburst chart. You can change the category names as well as the label options on your chart. Note that this is the point where you need to tweak the chart and make it suit your visualization needs.


A sunburst chart offers a reliable mode of visualizing your data. The chart offers a detailed methodology that you can use to extract insights from your data. In addition, this is the best chart type to use when dealing with hierarchical data patterns. You can use the chart to evaluate the performance of your business and create a detailed report that will aid in decision-making going forward.

Also, the chart is easy to read and make conclusions since it outlines data in a concise manner. The sunburst chart features an impeccable color combination that makes it attractive to the eye and easy to read. The chart is mostly used by business owners to evaluate their companies’ progress within a given duration.

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