Adding Data Labels to Your Chart
Excel charts are great for quickly spotting trends and correlations, but to recognize specific data points with ease you should use data labels.
Data labels provide you with a precise value of the data on your chart, so your reader doesn’t need to guess what some exact number is. The user also doesn’t need to waste time looking for that information in your original table.
In the accompanying video you will notice that without the data labels it might be difficult to say if Danny’s grade in English is that same as Lisa’s grade in Math, and if that grade is 87, 88, or 89.
Using data labels might be unnecessary in some cases when you are simply trying to illustrate a trend or if there is already too much information on the chart. In that case, information that is too specific might distract people from the point you are trying to make.
As with legends, the use of data labels is your own choice and you should think about the goal of your chart before using them. For specific instructions on how to use data labels see the video on the right.