[Excel] How to make a bullet chart

Bullet charts are much more space-efficient that gauges and make comparisons easier.

Excel bullet chart type
Excel bullet chart.

Design notes

  • In this example, all the three KPI share the same thresholds, base on a single X series. You can define X series specifically for each KPI.
  • You can have as many classes as you like (and make sense).
  • Encode “intensity” with a single hue and vary luminosity/saturation. Avoid the red-yellow-green encoding.
  • Targets use error bars for vertical markers, while Actual uses the standard markers.
  • But Target and Actual use the secondary y-axis, otherwise they would be hidden by the bars.



  • 01:25: repeated steps: repeat the format applied to the top KPI to the remaining two.
  • 01:30: adding values for target and actual.
  • 01:50: move target and actual to the secondary axis
  • 02:00: change target and actual series to markers only (no line).
  • 02:33: Since there is no vertical dash, the target marker is hidden and y-axis error bars are used instead.