Making Bubble Charts in Excel versus Using Bubble Chart Pro™

Microsoft Excel bubble charts are primarily trend-indicating scatter charts with a third data set represented by the size of the bubble at each X-Y point. The charts are prepared in the typical fashion of preparing any Excel chart: You select the data in columns or rows corresponding to the X, Y, and Z (bubble size) data that you want to plot, and then you format each chart after Excel displays it using the default settings:

Excel Bubble Chart Examples: In the left chart, the data was plotted by columns; in the right chart, the same data was plotted by rows.
Excel bubble chart example Excel bubble chart example

Excel is best at charting bubble charts where columns and rows represent series of data, such that each column or row is represented by one color and name in the legend. Therefore, it is much more difficult to create a bubble chart in Excel that display X,Y, and Z data for single individual projects, where each project is represented by its own X,Y, and Z data set and color/patten combination. In Excel, you have to spend a lot of time carefully designing your spreadsheet for the purpose of making this type of bubble chart and then carefully select your data columns and rows so that the project names appear in the legend. After you have done that, you have to fine-tune the appearance of each bubble each time you make a new chart. So it is fairly time-consuming process, even for spreadsheet wizards!

"Before Bubble Chart Pro it took me several hours to draw a two-dimensional Excel Scatter graph which showed the basic portfolio information I needed for our corporate executives. When I learned about Bubble Chart Pro and how easily it creates multi-dimensional diagrams I was blown away."
Phil F., Administrative Director - Program Management Office, Health Care Industry

With Bubble Chart Pro™, you can create presentation-quality project portfolio bubble charts in just a few clicks. You can save and duplicate multiple charts for each project portfolio and they are very easy to customize. For example, you can drag bubbles around to change the data, you can zoom-in on groups of bubbles using zoom-boxes, and you can customize the look and color of each bubble individually or in groups. You can also add transparency so you can see through each bubble making it easier to compare overlapping bubbles.

Each Bubble Chart Pro™ chart is linked directly to the portfolio data, so when the data changes, the chart changes, too. You can open a project simply by double-clicking on a bubble, and by using the subset and query buttons, you can quickly display and modify the colors and patterns of groups of bubbles so you can track them in different charts. You will find this incredibly useful when you're picking and choosing projects or other business investments.

"Amazing - WOW! This is exactly what our team needs to shine. Every PMO should be using this program. I can't believe that we have spent so much time manually fussing over bubble charts so that they visually present correctly and accurately. Thank you. I'm your latest fan."
Stephanie B., Project Portfolio Manager, Education

Bubble Chart Pro™ has been designed for interactive data analyses and includes many features that you won't find in Excel, such as adding custom legends, using zoom-boxes to drill down into on selected chart areas, dragging bubbles to change data, ability to plot text values, and much more.

When you're done, you can export your bubble charts in popular graphic formats such as .gif, .png, and .jpg for Powerpoint, Keynote, or web presentations. See the charts in our Bubble Chart Blog for export examples.

With the PLUS and OPTIMAL editions, you also get the SMART (Simple Multi-Attribute Ranking Technique) prioritization system built-in, which you don't get in Excel. This includes the Bar Chart module for making custom bar charts and tornado charts of all your project data in as few as 2 clicks so you can see and compare your project data quickly and easily. And you can export and import your data to and from Excel in all the Bubble Chart Pro™ editions.

Bubble Chart Pro™ SMART Prioritization Charts

So, your choice is simple: Spend hours trying to make simple bubble charts in Excel or use Bubble Chart Pro™ to quickly and easily make beautiful, interactive, presentation-ready bubble charts that you'll be proud to show your colleagues.

"It's a good little app. It beats trying to do this in Excel with macros, etc."
Sean K., IT Director, Health Care

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