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I have measurements for multiple devices, and have their mean and sd values. I would like to produce a chart that would show these values, and I think the best would be if I could have something that looks like a bar chart(-ish) - the device names in x axis, values in y axis, and for each device to have a 'floating' bar that would represent values (mean - sd :: mean + sd), and some marker in the middle to show the actual mean value. is it doable? or would you suggest some other chart?

Thanks a lot

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think you're looking for a box-and-whisker plot.

Here are instructions to create them in Excel:

Usually the median, quartile, and extreme values are used; but you could use mean and standard deviation(s).

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thanks a lot for the lead, the top one is a great tutorial. the only problem so far is I can't seem to get the mean values on to the graph - the instructions only work for a single data series. the problem seems to be that XY plot can't take strings (device names) as values - at least, when I try to put it that way, it recognizes the Y series as 0, 0, 0... . Would you have any ideas? Thanks again –  user34502 Apr 18 '10 at 13:05
sorted! thanks once more! –  user34502 Apr 18 '10 at 13:18

The best I've found is this one: http://peltiertech.com/WordPress/excel-box-and-whisker-diagrams-box-plots/

  • Supports vertical and horizontal charts
  • Displays the mean in addition to the quartiles and median.
  • Comes with an Excel file to tweak for quick results.
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