Creating funnel charts in PowerPoint

by Sanket on May 11, 2011 · 3 comments

in Tutorials

PowerPoint does not offer funnel charts by default. So every time you need to show elimination or streamlining of data, you either need to show the data itself in a table or use a wrong chart like the column chart. With oomfo, you can create a funnel chart in PowerPoint and set the functionality exactly as you need in minutes.

What is a funnel chart?

A funnel chart is used to show progressive reduction of data as it passes from one phase to another. The size of the area is determined by the series value as a percentage of the total of all values. The easiest example of this is if you want to show your sales conversion rates – starting from the number of leads you got, you move to the number of leads you could you qualify and finally the closure stage. Understandably, there would be a reduction of data, call it phased elimination if you want to, when you move from one stage to another.

Sales conversion funnel chart

The recruitment process is another example of progressive reduction of data.
Funnel chart to show the elimination during a recruitment process

Creating a funnel chart using oomfo

  1. We will be using the oomfo chart builder to create our funnel chart. If you are on Windows 2003, go to Insert Menu > oomfo > Insert chart to launch the builder. If you are on Windows 2007 or 2010, go to the Insert tab and click on the Insert Chart button in the oomfo ribbon.

    Launching the oomfo chart builder
  2. In the chart builder that comes up, select chart type as Single Series from the drop-down and then select the funnel chart from the list of the charts.

    Selecting a funnel chart in the Chart Type tab
    As soon as you make the selection, you will see a funnel chart with dummy data shown in the Preview pane. 

    You can see that the chart builder lists nine steps on the left – however you do not need to complete each step to create a chart. In fact, you can stop at the first step itself after selecting the chart (notice the Finish button on the bottom-right) but more realistically, you will need to select the chart and enter its data at least.

  3. Let’s go ahead and enter the data for the sales conversion funnel chart we are going to make. You can either click on the Next button on the bottom-right or click on the Chart Data button on the top-left.

    Entering data in the Chart Data tab
    As soon as you finish entering the data, hit Apply and you will see the funnel chart with this data in the Preview pane. You will notice the funnel chart has data labels but not the values.
  4. To display the data values, go to the Data Properties tab > Show Data Values > Show percentage instead of values. Since we are more concerned with looking at the reduction of leads from one phase to another, the percentage values will serve us better.

    Setting to show percentages instead of the data values
  5. The only thing left to do is add the appropriate captions to the chart which is done in the Axis and Titles tab. You can click on the tab directly or click on Next from the Data Properties tab to get to it. Just enter the caption you want for the chart and as always, it will be reflected in the Preview Pane itself.

    Setting the caption for the funnel chart
  6. Now we are all set to see the chart in its full glory. Click Finish to embed the chart into the slide and then drag it to the position you want.

    Positioning the funnel chart in the slide
    You can also resize the chart by dragging its sides the way you want. After you are done with it, go to slideshow to see the funnel chart in action.
  7. You will see an animated and interactive funnel chart in your slideshow. Isn’t it a breath of fresh air from the static and limited PowerPoint charts you have been seeing all your life? Go ahead and click on one of the wedges to slice it out.

    Slicing out a data item during slideshow
    Looks cool, doesn’t it? More importantly, during a presentation, if you want to highlight a particular data set, you can just click on it and slice it out this way. To slice the wedge back in, just click on it again.
  8. What if you wanted to have a wedge sliced out at the start itself? That too is possible with oomfo. We will go back and edit the chart to slice out a wedge by default. Go to normal mode (exit the slideshow mode), select the chart and click on Edit chart in the oomfo ribbon (or from the right-click menu).Now go to the Chart Data tab and hover over the data item you want to slice out. Click on the options button that comes up.

    Clicking on options for a data item
    On clicking on it, a dialog box Chart Data Plot Properties will come up. Check Slice out this data item under Pie, Doughnut, Funnel & Pyramid Charts.

    Setting to slice out an item in the funnel chart at the start itself
    Now click on Ok and hit Apply under the data grid. In the slideshow, you will be able to see how the wedge is sliced out by default.

    First data item in the chart sliced out at the start itself
  9. So far, so good. Now what if you wanted to display the value of each stage in the funnel as a percentage of the previous stage? For example, what percentage of deals from the Qualification stage get through to the Needs Analysis stage? The current figure of 67.42% is w.r.t to all the deals entering the top of the funnel and not w.r.t the previous stage only. oomfo has you covered on this as well.

Going back to the chart wizard to edit the chart, go to Chart Cosmetics tab > Data Functionalities & Cosmetics > Customize > Funnel/Pyramid > Values appear as percent of previous slice.

    Setting to show data items as percentage of previous item
    As soon as you click Ok, you will see that you have exactly what you needed in the Preview pane.

    Showing data items as percentage of previous item

Exactly what you needed, isn’t it?

That’s how easy it is to create a funnel chart using oomfo and set the desired functionality. It also brings other advanced charts like Waterfall, Pareto, Marimekko and Pyramid to PowerPoint. So in case you haven’t got your hands on it already, do it now.

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