How to make a pie chart in Google Sheets

Data collection is a step-by-step process.

There’s a design phase, where you brainstorm the research you’d like to carry out and project the results you expect to see. There’s data gathering, where you conduct field research or experiments to obtain your data. And finally, there’s the process of arranging and analyzing your data, where you decide how to display your results in order to draw conclusions.

The last portion of this process might be the most important. You can flawlessly design your experiment and effectively gather data, but it won’t mean much if you don’t present that data properly. One of the best ways to present data is through a pie chart that breaks down your results into an easy-to-understand visual. 

Google Sheets has a robust pie chart building feature you can use for data analysis. Here’s how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets.

1. Examine your data 

A pie chart works best with certain data sets. If you’ve conducted a survey about customers’ favorite menu items at a restaurant, for example, a pie chart could be a great way to visually represent the percentage of people who chose each item. Similarly, a city government could use a pie chart of census results to analyze the different demographics of its population. 

Once you have your data, consider whether a pie chart is the best option to display it. If it is, think about how you’ll make clear observations based on the data.

2. Understand the interface 

Learning how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets means understanding how to grab the data you need. Make sure you have one column that lists your chart’s data labels and a second column with your actual data. 

From there, highlight the section of your sheet you want to turn into a chart, and select Insert from the Google Sheets main menu and Chart from the dropdown menu that appears. 

You’ll then see a window that gives you a number of chart options — be sure to select Pie chart from this menu and check the cell range listed to make sure it’s pulling the right information from your sheet.

3. Customize your chart 

While Google Sheets is intelligent software, it doesn’t know your end goal in creating a pie chart — but it does have customization options that can help you tailor the chart to your needs. 

You can rename the items in your chart legend to your liking, adjust colors, and change the title of your chart so it accurately reflects the data represented. This is an important step, as it’s your opportunity to align the data presentation with your company’s branding.  

4. Share your chart 

There are a lot of perks to learning how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets — including being able to store chart information, publish your charts on websites, and share charts with clients. 

To publish a Google Sheets chart, make sure you’ve selected the chart (when you click on it, you’ll see a blue box around the chart), then click the three dots in the upper right corner of the box and select Publish chart. 

You can also change the viewing settings of your chart to ensure it’s available to the public. This feature is especially helpful if you’re hoping to establish your company as a leader in data gathering and analysis — the more you can show your work, the better you can build your reputation as a trusted source.

Consider alternatives

Maybe you’ve built your Google Sheets pie chart and feel like something’s missing. If that’s the case, consider Jotform’s Report Builder and its pie chart capabilities. The Report Builder is designed to shape itself around your data presentation needs, creating visual reports in a matter of seconds. 

You can design easy-to-read pie charts straight from data you’ve gathered using one of your Jotform forms and take advantage of the same customization options Google Sheets offers.

Even better, the Jotform Report Builder can display two charts on the same page if you have a lot of data to display. You’ll also be able to share your chart with anyone who needs access to it.

Put the pieces of the pie together 

A pie chart is a versatile and effective method for displaying many different types of data. And knowing how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets — or in Jotform’s built-in report-building software — is a skill worth having. 

Data is only as good as the methods used to gather and analyze it.  So make sure that you collect data efficiently and know how to present it effectively to your next big client.

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

This article is originally published on Nov 02, 2021, and updated on Dec 08, 2021.

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