Thermometer chart is a visualization of the actual value of well-defined measure, for example, task status as compared to a target value. This is a linear version of Gauge chart that you will learn in the next chapter.
You can track your progress against the target over a period of time with a simple rising Thermometer chart.
A Thermometer chart keeps track of a single task, for example, completion of work, representing the current status as compared to the target. It displays the percentage of the task completed, taking target as 100%.
A Thermometer chart looks as shown below.
Thermometer chart can be used to track any actual value as compared to the target value as percentage completed. It works with a single value and is an appealing chart that can be included in dashboards for a quick visual impact on % achieved, % performance against the target sales target, % profit, % work completion, % budget utilized, etc.
If you have multiple values to track the actuals against the targets, you can use Bullet chart that you will learn in a later chapter.
Prepare the data in the following way −
Calculate the Actual as a percentage of the actual value as compared to the target value.
Target should always be 100%.
Place your data in a table as given below.
Following are the steps to create a Thermometer chart −
Step 1 − Select the data.
Step 2 − Insert a Clustered Column chart.
As you can see, the right Column is Target.
Step 3 − Click on a Column in the chart.
Step 4 − Click the DESIGN tab on the Ribbon.
Step 5 − Click the Switch Row/ Column button.
Step 6 − Right click on the Target Column.
Step 7 − Select Format Data Series from the dropdown list.
Step 8 − Click on Secondary Axis under SERIES OPTIONS in the Format Data Series pane.
As you can see, the Primary Axis and the Secondary Axis have different ranges.
Step 9 − Right click on the Primary Axis. Select Format Axis from the dropdown list.
Step 10 − Type the following in Bounds under AXIS OPTIONS in the Format Axis pane −
Repeat the steps given above for the Secondary Axis to change the Bounds to 0 and 1.
Both the Primary Axis and Secondary Axis will be set to 0% - 100%.
As you can observe, the Target Column hides the Actual Column.
Step 11 − Right click on the visible Column, i.e. Target.
Step 12 − Select Format Data Series from the dropdown list.
In the Format Data Series pane, select the following −
Step 13 − In Chart Elements, deselect the following −
Step 14 − Right click on the Primary Vertical Axis.
Step 15 − Select Format Axis from the dropdown list.
Step 16 − Click TICK MARKS under the AXIS OPTIONS in the Format Axis pane.
Step 17 − Select the option Inside for Major type.
Step 18 − Right click on the Chart Area.
Step 19 − Select Format Plot Area from the dropdown list.
Step 20 − Click Fill & Line in the Format Plot Area pane. Select the following −
Step 21 − Resize the Chart Area to get the Thermometer shape for the chart.
You got your Thermometer chart, with the Actual Value as against Target Value being shown.
Step 22 − You can make this Thermometer chart more appealing with some formatting.
Your aesthetic Thermometer chart is ready. This will look good on a dashboard or as a part of a presentation.