How to Create a Run Chart

A run chart is a chart of data over time, with a median line added. These charts are useful for showing trends. Investors use run charts to track investments; epidemiologists use them to track infection rates; and dieters use them to track weight loss. Anyone who needs to track a continuous variable over time can use run charts.

Step 1

Enter column headers. In Excel, put "Date" in cell A1, the name of the variable you are tracking (such as weight/value) in cell B1 and "median" in cell C1.

Step 2

Add dates. Add the dates that you recorded data on in column A. For example, you might have 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 10/7, 10/8. Usually, though, you will have a longer series.

Step 3

Add the values. Add the values you observed in column B. For example, you might have 150, 151, 152, 151, 150.

Step 4

Find the median. At the bottom of column B, click "Formulas," then "More functions," then "Statistical" and "Median." Copy this number into column C next to each row that has data in column B. Then delete it from column B. In our example the median is 151, so add 151 to cells C2 through C6.

Step 5

Add a chart. Click "Insert," then "Line with markers." This will be your run chart.