What is a Radar Chart?

A radar chart is a data visualization tool that aids the viewers to analyze and be informed on the multivariate data presented in a two-dimensional chart of three or more quantitative variables. Also known as a spider chart, Kiviat diagram, polar chart, star plot, or web chart, it is used for data analysis to communicate and visualize research findings as it demonstrates vivid and visual description, realizes dynamic analysis, scientifically depicts the industrial development track, masters comprehensive data effectively for the relevant department, and easily applies and promotes to make the assessment concise and intuitive in order to encourage people to pursue excellence and progress.

Each variable is given an axis that begins from the center point. While maintaining the sample scale between all axes, all axes are arranged radially with equal distances between each other. Grid lines connecting from axis to axis are made as a guide. Each variable value is plotted with an individual axis, making all the variables in a data set linked to create a polygon. Thus, using a radar chart is beneficial to present data outliers and commonalities in a striking manner. 

Uses of Radar Charts

Product designers, software developers, HR managers, marketing specialists, educators, professors, and other professionals use radar charts and other types of charts such as sample comparison charts and pie charts for a wide array of purposes. Understand the different purposes and uses of radar charts in different fields and industries. 

Competitive Analysis: Product designers and marketers use radar charts when making a comparison of two or more products over a range of characteristics. They usually compare the common and distinct features of two similar products but different brands as they consider each of the product’s characteristics. If you are a product designer, software developer, brand manager, or marketing specialist who aims to create better and wholesome products or services for your customers in the future, use radar charts to compare the features of your products and analyze your competitor’s edge over the offerings of your business firm. Consumer Choice and Market Research: If you want to check and see how consumers make product choices, use a radar chart effectively to compare the factors that influence their product purchases the most. Conduct a survey to ask your consumers to rate each of the factors that affect their decision-making on a certain scale from 1-10. After the survey, plot the score for each factor on the radar chart. Employee Skill Analysis: During employee performance review and appraisal process, radar charts are mostly used by HR managers, project managers, and team leaders to analyze and measure the skills of their employees and determine what type of work training they need to organize to help them hone their skills. If you are an HR manager who considers two or more employees for a promotion in your company, you need to compare simultaneously the multiple factors in the employee competency and work productivity dataset. Matchmaking for Dating: Most dating websites use radar charts to guide people make better dating decisions when it comes to selecting the right partners suitable to their needs, preferences, and personalities. A radar chart is used to assist in evaluating the varying attitudes and characteristics of the two candidates when considering two potential partners for a date.

Alternative Charts and Graphs to a Radar Chart

Although radar charts are great to use when comparing multiple sets of data or changes that take place over time, these charts have limited uses in data analysis when it comes to making trade-off decisions and when dealing with large data. Here are some common alternative charts and graphs to a radar chart that you can use if you need to use other data visualization tools for your work.

Stacked Bar Charts: These stacked column charts are used to display data, mainly the composition and comparison of a few relative or absolute variables over time. If you need to analyze a number of data sets, create a stacked bar chart to portray the overall difference in totals of variables effectively. Bar charts are useful data visualization tools to showcase data with small multiples. You can plot individual series of data into mini bar charts and display them along with other data series so that you can easily interpret the data. Under bar chart samples, you may also consider using lollipop charts that have a series of thin bars with dots on the end to help you demonstrate information with ease and convenience. Harvey Balls: If you need to communicate qualitative information, use Harvey balls which are circular characters with sections being cut out of them. For example, there would be seven different balls as each one of them signifies a separate variable. These graphic representations can be used when you have fewer variables no more than five. In this way, you can create a simple chart that can be understood by your audience easily. Glyph Plots: Similar to radar charts, glyph plots display variables being represented by spikes or stars that are proportional to the data. They are used to map data attributes or characteristics into a graph in different scenarios. Plus, they have more or fewer variables than a radar chart as they are used to visualize patterns of multiples over time. Line Graphs: These graphs are used by managers and professionals to display the rankings on a range of variables based on the lines that connect individual data points. Line graphs can be effective in presenting differences between a small number of data sets. Use these graphs to closely monitor changes over short and long periods of time and assess them to determine trends and patterns. Parallel Coordinates Plot: When comparing multiple features using a set of numeric variables, a parallel coordinates plot can be formed and used to plot each variable onto a vertical line and plot multiple variables across the chart to join them together. It is an ideal data visualization tool to compare various items that are measured on a similar scale and observe the relationships between them. Consider the right order of the axes because they can impact the way how the reader perceives the data. That’s why re-structuring the axes can be beneficial in discovering patterns or correlations across variables.

How to Create a Radar Chart

Radar charts have some advantages such as having easily noticeable outliers and allowing the comparison of unrelated variables. Follow the four steps in this section for creating a comprehensive, simple yet well-structured radar chart.

Step 1: Collect Data Set and Axes

Assemble the team who will conduct data analysis using a radar chart. Decide the rating categories and criteria with your team members. Then, specify the variables and their values for different entities for the comparative analysis. Draw a table to have all the data ready for your radar chart.

Step 2: Use a Radar Chart Template in Your Preferred Format

Search for some sample downloadable and editable radar chart templates online. Sample.net provides a diverse collection of chart and graph templates such as Pareto chart templates and radar chart templates that you can conveniently and quickly use for your comparative data analysis project or employee work productivity analysis work. Choose from our chart template collection and download your preferred radar chart template in PDF or Excel format.

Step 3: Edit or Format the Radar Chart

Once you opened the radar chart template, incorporate all types of vectors into your charts and represent your data properly. Depict the information while working on all the axes of the radar chart. Modify the entire appearance of the radar chart if you like.

Step 4: Save and Export the Radar Chart or Create a Radar Chart in Excel

When you are done editing your radar chart, save and export the chart. If you want to create a radar chart in Excel, choose the data range you need to present in the radar chart and choose the options in Excel by clicking Insert, then Other Charts, and selecting Radar. Choose the type of radar chart you want (simple radar chart, radar chart with markers, or filled radar chart). Edit the colors and labels if you like and save your file.


What are the benefits of using a radar chart?

Some of the benefits of using a radar chart are it is easy to read, it can be compared to different data sets quickly, it displays a lot of data points, it can be used when comparing proportions or averages, and it is a fantastic data visualization tool to showcase changes over time.

What are some effective uses of a radar chart?

A radar chart is used when comparing the properties of a single component or comparing the properties of two or more variables together. It can be helpful in comparing an individual’s performance to that of a group and can be used by the human resource department to analyze different employee groups and examine their work performance and productivity. One example of the effective use of a radar chart is when comparing two anti-depressant drugs on features like efficacy for severe depression, the prevalence of side effects, continuation or relief over time, and cost to the customer, 

What are the different types of radar charts?

The different types of radar charts commonly used are basic radar chart, radar chart with markers, and filled radar chart.

How to customize and use a radar chart?

Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets and double-click the chart you want to customize. Click customize and select an option to chart style. Then, change how the chart looks to radar. Show the range gridlines. Edit or format the chart and axis titles.

How to read a radar chart?

After plotting a value along each axis and connecting up the resulting points that forms a polygon, identify what category each axis represents and assess how the categories are related to one another while reading around the wheel of the chart.

If you are planning to illustrate the comparison of data groups and entities with unique characteristics or personalities, create and use radar charts so that you can easily compare the items with different parameters. Rader charts are essential data visualization tools to support competitive analysis, consumer product choice analysis, employee productivity review, and many other uses. If you are having a difficult time in making a radar chart, our website provides an eclectic collection of sample radar charts, diagrams, graphs, infographics, and other graphic representation documents for your work such as control charts, firm organization charts, and tap and drill charts.