Radar or Spider Chart

How to create a radar or spider chart, typically to compare items with many characteristics against each other

Radar or Spider Chart

Radar (or spider) charts allow you to compare various items against each other where there is more than one criteria per item.

So in this example we have got various cell phone packages, we have got the cost of a call on net, off net and into the fixed line operator. What we want to do is compare to see which package looks the best. We highlight the data, go to Other Charts and at the bottom we have got something called Radar – sometimes referred to as Spider Graphs. If I click on it, you get something that looks like this – I am just going to make it a bit bigger. What the chart shows us is, on each axis, in this case there are three axes because we have three criteria, it gives us the axis and it gives us the costs and what it has plotted is what each package’s cost is for that area. So we can see, just by looking, that the red line, which is package 2, appears to be on average the most expensive – in all cases it is the most expensive. Looking here we can see that the blue line is the most expensive with the on net calls, it is a fairly close call for the off net but it seems to be just a little bit lower for the fixed line- and the green seems to be the best – the package 3- because in the majority of them it is either the lowest or very close to the lowest.

As with all charts, all these items are formattable and customizable. Something we like to do with Radar Charts is the grid lines – so I click on it. It is quite useful to remove them, so if you click on it and just push delete, you’ll see the grid lines are removed and sometimes that makes it just a little bit easier to see. If you wish to you can right click on one of the series and format it and you’ll see the options are generally the same in all areas.

Under the Radar Chart you have one extra item which reverses the category labels and you’ll see if I switch it off, all that happens is these labels disappear and in our opinion it is useful to know what those labels are referring to, so we would leave it on.