The other day while helping someone out to create a visualization from a performance rating data, I thought of creating a Dot Chart, where dots get filled depending on the score. I really liked what finally came out and thought it would be of much use to you as well!

So, here we go !

## Things needed to create this Chart

- Performance Rating Data – But obvious!
- Empty Dots
- Semi Filled Dots
- Filled Dots

To hunt for Empty, Semi Filled and Filled Dots I looked into the **Symbols option in Excel**

- In the Insert Tab
- Click on Symbols
- Now Change the Font to Wingdings 2
*(most likely you would have that pre-installed)* - Scroll down to find a Filled Dot and an Empty Dot
- Semi Filled Dot will also be around
- Notice the Character Code for each of these Dots

Since Excel doesn’t understand text so **we will be using these ***(ASCII)*** codes** **to create the dots**. Let’s keep moving

## Meaning of Filled Dots, Semi Filled, Empty Dots

**Filled Dot**

Means that we have an integer value. We are also assuming that numbers with decimal places greater than **.**5 will be rounded off to the next integer. So 3.6 will be rounded off to 4 but 3.5 will be considered as 3. For example

- 3 Filled Dots for 3.2 or
- 5 Filled Dots for 4.7

**Semi Filled Dot**

Means that we have a fractional value which is less than or equal to **.**5 For Example

- 3 Filled Dots and 1 Semi Filled Dot for 3.2
- 4 filled dots and NO Semi Filled Dot for 3.7

**Empty Dots**

Are the balance from a maximum value of 5. For Example

- 3 Filled, 1 Semi Filled and 1 Empty Dot for a value of 3.2
- 2 Filled, 0 Semi Filled and 3 Empty Dots for a value of 1.7

## Crunching the Numbers

We start this data where we have Names and some random ratings, (*too bad I got a 2.1 🙁 )*

**Next we find how many Filled Dots do we need**

- If you don’t know, check out
**The CEILING Function***(how it works and examples)* **CEILING(Rating, 0.5)**Applying CEILING Function the rating will push the rating to the next multiple of 5

**Now finding out how many Semi Filled Dots do we need**

- Learn to use the
**INT**and**CEILING**Function with an example **Rating – INT (Rating)**We are first finding the fraction from the filled dots**CEILING(Rating – INT (Rating),1)**The CEILING Function will convert the fractions to 1

Note a few things

- The values of Filled Dots are in Decimals
*(which are less than or equal to 0.5)* - We want to apply a Semi Filled Dot for all the values containing decimals
- We are converting the Semi Filled Dot values to whole numbers (1) because we would need 1 Semi Filled Dot where there are decimal places

**Calculating the Unfilled Dots**

**INT(5 – Rating)**We are subtracting the Filled Dots from 5 because that’s our maximum rating- Also then converting the decimals into whole numbers

## Making the Chart

Now that we have the back up ready lets make the chart. But even before I start making the chart, I want you to recall the Codes for the Dots

- Code for a Filled Dot – 152
- Code for a Semi Filled Dot – 155
- Code for an Empty Dot – 153

**PART 1 – CREATING FILLED DOTS**

- Don’t worry about the symbols that show up. Our final move is yet to come 😎
- Check out the
**REPT Function**if you don’t know how to use it - All we are doing is repeating the Dot, filled number of times and the CHAR formula is helping us convert the code (152) into a Dot

**PART 2 – ADDING SEMI FILLED DOTS **

- Don’t worry about the symbols that show up. Our final move is yet to come 😎
- After the Filled Dot we need to have the Semi Filled Dot so we use the
**&**operator and combine the formula

**PART 3 – ADDING THE EMPTY DOTS**

- Don’t worry about the symbols that show up. Our final move is yet to come 😎
- In the end we need Empty Dots so we again combine the formula with the
**&**operator

**NOW OUR FINAL MOVE !**

This is like the icing on the cake, an Ace to finish it all

- Select the data
- Change the font to Wingdings 2
- And the color the font in a lighter shade of grey
- Boom! There you have it!

## A Benchmark – to give it more meaning!

Wouldn’t it be nice to color all the dots as red if the score falls below a benchmark?

And let’s say our** Benchmark is 3**

Apply Conditional Formatting Rule

- Select your Data
- Open a New Conditional Formatting Rule –
*(Use the Shortcut ALT H L N)* - Select the Option – ‘Use a formula to determine..’
- Paste the following formula =C7<=Benchmark.
*C7 contains our first rating* - Set the Format as you like (The format will be applied if the Rating is below or = 3
- See a preview of the Formatting in the Preview Box
- Click Ok

And we are done, baby!

## Where can you use this Chart – Pros and Cons

I cannot end this piece without mentioning its utility and may be some pros and cons

**Utility :**Use this chart for showing ratings, describing complexity, high or low signals etc..**A Pro :**The filled and unfilled dots act as an excellent visualization for getting an approximation of the rating**A Con :**Not a good chart type when the rating is done on a larger scale. May be a scale point of 10. Too many dots might tend to distract rather than making it easier to interpret the chart

**DOWNLOAD THE FINISHED DOT CHART HERE**

## Learn to make some other interesting charts

**Line Chart with Part Selection****Line Chart with Phases**- InfoGraphic Charts
**PART 1, PART 2** **Target Charts**