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Creating a Pareto Diagram

Assume you have the following Call Reason Number Of Calls

information in two columns of an contract issues 6
call quality 60
Excel spreadsheet; the first column credit request 15
header is “Call Reason”; the ringtones problem 23
second column header is “Number text messaging 9
Of Calls”. Your objective is to repair concerns 27
wireless web access 15
convert this data into a Pareto lost phone 10
diagram using the Excel features dropped calls 90
described below: billing issues 45

Sample Size 300

1. First sort your data from

highest count to lowest
count: (Excel > Data > Sort
> Descending): highlight
both columns, and sort by
the # calls column,

2. In the next step, we will create a percentage and cumulative percentage

column that will be used to build the Pareto chart.

a. For the % column, in the first cell, create the formula: =(B2/300)*100; drag
the lower right-hand corner of that cell to duplicate the formula in the other
cells. Then you can highlight the cells, and select from the menu “Format”,
then Cells, then Number, then decimal places. Select 1 for the decimal place.
Creating a Pareto Diagram

b. For the Cum % column:

in cell D2, type in 30. Then
in cell D3, create a formula:
=(D2+C3); then drag the
lower right-hand corner of
the cell to duplicate this
formula in the other cells.

3. Use the Ctrl key, and highlight the Category, the Percentage column,
and the Cumulative Percentage columns (but NOT the frequency

4. Use the Chart Wizard to generate a Combination Bar Chart with both
left and right axes, also called a “Line column on two axes” chart. After
clicking on the Chart Wizard, go to the “Custom Types” tab, and select
the “line column on two axes” chart.
Creating a Pareto Diagram

5. Add a title and generate the chart. You can slant the labels by double
clicking on them, and on the “Format Axis” menu that pops up, select the
“Alignment” tab. Drag the text line to a 30 degree angle, and click OK.
Your chart is now complete.

Note that the height of each bar references the left axis, whereas the
percentage line references the right axis. Your Pareto chart is now
complete – congratulations !