How to Create Histogram Charts in Google Sheets 

Last Modified: November 16, 2023 - 6 min read

Hannah Recker

In the digital era, data is gold. Leverage it effectively, and it can power a business forward.

Google Sheets Histogram charts are a popular way to transform data into meaningful insights at a glance.

Whether you’re a seasoned data analyst or a sales professional looking for better ways to interpret monthly figures, this guide will teach you how to create a histogram chart in google sheets.

Let’s dive in.

What is a Histogram Chart? 

A histogram chart investigates your data step-by-step and presents it in an easy-to-grasp way. It takes a bunch of numbers and arranges them neatly into groups for easier comprehension.

These groups, or “buckets,” are called intervals or bins that show you how often different values in your data appear. 

Imagine you’re tracking your webpage traffic scores. With a Histogram, you can quickly see if most pages score in the middle, if there are a few superstars, or if some need extra help.

In simple terms, a Histogram tells you the story of your data’s distribution.

When Would You Use a Histogram Chart?  

Here are some scenarios where Histogram charts shine:

1. Understanding Distributions

If you have a dataset of student test scores, Histograms can show you if most students scored around the same mark or if the scores are spread out widely. This helps educators tailor their teaching methods.

Businesses use Histograms to analyze customer feedback. Are most customers rating their product satisfaction very high, or is it scattered across the board? Spotting trends helps improve products and services.

3. Quality Control

In manufacturing, Histograms help ensure product consistency. If you’re producing widgets, you want to know if they all meet the same quality standards. Histograms can flag any deviations.

4. Identifying Outliers

Sometimes, you need to find those pesky outliers—data points that don’t fit the norm. Histograms make outliers stand out like a sore thumb, which is crucial for anomaly detection.

How to Build a Histogram Chart in Google Sheets? 

In this section, we’ll walk you through the process so you can easily replicate it for your datasets.

Step 1: Prepare Your Data

First, open Google Sheets and make sure your data is ready. Your data should be organized in a single column.

Step 2: Select Your Data

Click and drag to select the data range you want to create a Histogram. In our case, select the exam scores.

Click and drag to select the data range you want to create a Histogram

Step 3: Insert the Chart

Double-click the “Insert” drop-down menu at the top of your Google Sheets and select “Chart.”

Double-click the "Insert" drop-down menu

Step 4: Choose Chart Type

The Chart editor panel will appear on the right. Click on “Chart type,” and a list of chart options will appear. 

Click on "Chart type," and a list of chart options will appear

Select “Histogram.”

choose histogram as your chart type

Step 5: Customize Your Histogram

You’ll see a preview of your Histogram chart. Google Sheets will automatically suggest templates with the number of bins (intervals) based on your data. 

You can customize various aspects of your chart, such as the title, gridlines, axis labels, and text color.

You can customize various aspects of your chart, such as the title, gridlines, axis labels, and text color.

Step 6: Finalize Your Chart

Once you’re satisfied with the appearance of your Histogram chart, click “Insert” in the Chart editor panel. Your Histogram chart will appear in your Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Now, you can visually analyze the distribution of your data with ease.

 click "Insert" in the Chart editor panel

But there are more ways to edit a chart and create a Histogram! 

How to Add a Double Histogram Chart to Google Sheets? 

Creating a double Histogram in Google Sheets allows you to compare two datasets visually.

Step 1: Prepare Both Datasets

Ensure you have two separate datasets in your Google Sheets filled with numerical and categorical data. Each is organized in its column chart.

Step 2: Select Both Data Ranges

Click and drag to select both data ranges by holding the Ctrl key (Cmd on Mac) and selecting the columns containing your data.

selecting the columns containing your data.

Step 3: Insert the Chart

Go to the “Insert” menu at the top of your Google Sheets and select “Chart.”

Step 4: Choose Chart Type

In the Chart editor panel on the right, click on “Chart type.” A list of chart options will appear. 

Select the chart title “Histogram.”

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Step 5: Customize Your Double Histogram

Your double Histogram chart will appear, showing both datasets side by side. Again, use the Customize tab to make adjustments to your chart.

use the Customize tab to make adjustments to your chart

To make the data analysis part easier with 2 sets of data, use color codes and highlight the differences/ purpose of both charts.

Step 6: Finalize Your Chart Style

Likewise, once you’re satisfied with the chart style of your double Histogram chart, click “Insert” in the Chart editor panel. 

finalize your chart style and click insert

Your double Histogram chart will appear in your spreadsheet.

What is the Difference Between a Histogram and Bar Graph? 

While both Histograms and Bar Graphs use bars, they serve distinct data visualization purposes.

Histogram Charts:

Histograms are tools for displaying the distribution of continuous data. They break down your data into intervals or bins, grouping ages into ranges.

The height of each bar in a Histogram represents the frequency or count of data points within that interval. Histograms are ideal for showcasing the distribution pattern, such as whether it’s skewed or symmetric.

Bar Graph:

In contrast, bar graphs compare discrete categories. They have two axis titles—the horizontal axis (X-axis) for categories and the vertical axis (Y-axis) for values.

Each bar represents a category, and the height of the bar corresponds to the value. Bar Graphs are better at showing how different categories compare regarding values.

How to Convert a Bar Graph into a Histogram? 

Step 1: Create a Bar Graph with Your Data

For example, let’s say a sales team is tracking the number of deals they close each month.

create a bar graph with your data

The categories on the X-axis should represent intervals instead of discrete categories.

Step 2: Convert the Data for a Histogram

Create bins for your deal ranges in column D (e.g., 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20).

Next, count the number of months that fall into each deal range and record it in column E.

Step 3: Create your Histogram

Highlight the range in columns D and E > Insert > Chart.

Highlight the range in columns D and E > Insert > Chart.

Your histogram will automatically populate your spreadsheet.

Your histogram will automatically populate your spreadsheet.

Step 3: Customize Your Histogram

For example, you can remove category labels, adjust bar colors, and more!

Unlocking Insights with Histograms in Google Sheets

Data visualization goes beyond crafting charts—it’s about narrating stories, unveiling patterns, and steering data-driven decisions. Histograms offer a snapshot of deep insights from your data.

But that’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible in Google Sheets.

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Hannah Recker Growth Marketer
Hannah Recker was a data-driven growth marketer before partying in the data became a thing. In her 12 years experience, she's become fascinated with the way data enablement amongst teams can truly make or break a business. This fascination drove her to taking a deep dive into the data industry over the past 4 years in her work at StreamSets and Coefficient.
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