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Calendar Heat map Chart Excel Template

calendar chart is a visualization that shows how a data set varies with the days, weeks and months of the year. One popular variant of a calendar chart is the calendar heat map which may show data over multiple years using color gradients. A calendar chart is not a built-in chart tool in Excel, but you can create your own using conditional formatting, or use a template

Calendar Chart excel

The purpose of this template is to demonstrate how a calendar heat map chart in Excel using conditional formatting. You can use it as-is by just pasting your data into the Data worksheet, or you can use it as a starting point and define your own conditional formatting rules.

How to create Calendar heat map chart

1. Prepare Your Data

For this template, you need a list of unique dates in one column and a numeric value in a second column. You can have more than one column of data, but this template only analyzes one column of data at a time.

Using a Pivot Table may be a simple way to get your data into this format. For example, let’s say you have a worksheet with a list of financial transactions consisting of a Date column and an Amount column. You will likely have many transactions on the same dates, but for the calendar chart you need to have unique dates. So, you need to somehow have each date represent the sum of all transactions for that date.

Time management chart for daily schedule

You can do this very quickly using a PivotTable. Select your data, go to Insert > PivotTable, and include the Date column for the Row Labels and the Amount column for the Values of the PivotTable. Modify the settings of the Amount column in the PivotTable to be a sum rather than a count.

2. Day planner chart

With your data prepared correctly, you just need to copy and paste it into the Data worksheet in the template (assuming you have the data in another spreadsheet). You may want to use Paste Special > Values to avoid copying formulas and formatting.

3. Choose a Data Set and Date Range

In the 4-Year and 1-Year worksheets, you can choose the Data Set you want to analyze from a drop down list. The list in the drop-down box comes from the column labels that you enter in the Data worksheet.

4. Customize Conditional Formatting

The colors in the calendar heat map are created using conditional formatting rules. You don’t have to use the red-yellow-green heat map color gradient. For example, the image above shows a cost analysis with white representing zero and dark blue representing the high cost values.

TIP #1: Use percentiles and min/max thresholds to adjust the range of colors. Outliers have a huge affect on heat maps. For example, one very large number could result in a heat map showing one red spot and everything else green. By default, I like using 10% and 90% percentiles and that is how the template is set up. This makes the top 10% of the data red and the lower 10% green, regardless of how high or low the values are.

TIP #2: Use Single-Color gradients for data that contains a lot of zeros. This can save a lot of ink compared to displaying all zero-values as dark green.

TIP #3: Use a color scheme that makes sense for your data. Avoid using colors that can cause confusion. For example, when thinking about rainfall, green makes you think of lush vegetation (a lot of rainfall) while reds bring to mind drought or no rainfall. For rainfall, which color does it make sense to use for the high value?

5. Highlighting Holidays and Events in the Calendar

The Holidays worksheet allows you to list dates that you want to display in the calendar. In the 1-Year worksheet, the dates are highlighted only in the calendar on the left. In the 4-Year worksheet, these dates are highlighted with a dashed border.

6. Decide How to Handle Missing Data

Are you correctly handling missing data (meaning either missing dates or dates with blank values)? Is missing data represented correctly in the chart? These are questions you should ask yourself when using any type of chart.

If you have non-numeric data in a range, the AVERAGE() function ignores those cells. For example, the average of {“-“,”-“,1,2,”-“,”-“} is (1+2)/2 = 1.5. The dashes are ignored.

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Compatible with : Microsoft Office Excel, Libra Office, WPS Office, Google WorkSheet
  • Download The Template XLSX File Format
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