Excel chart data labels are quite boring. While there is not much you can do with these, a bit of excel trickery can add some glamor to it. In this post, I will show you how to show trends in chart labels in a bar chart. Something as shown below:

Suppose I have the data as shown below:

If I plot 2013 data only, it won’t tell us how much the sales of a product have increased/decreased over the last year. However, I can do this by changing the chart data label to show the YoY change. To do this, we first need to modify our data set a bit.

When you have the data set in place, create a bar chart using 2013 values. You will get a chart as shown below:

Now to show the YoY change instead of 2013 values in chart labels, follow the steps below: That’s it!! You would have your chart ready.

Try it yourself.. Download the file

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There’s an add-in that you can use for scatterplots (X-Y plots) but I’m not aware of any add-ins for column charts. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qm9qxp2r5ykj4rr/Excel%20Chart%20with%20Trend%20in%20Data%20Labels%20for%202010.xlsx