Plugins for Excel Explained

In the world of data analysis and spreadsheet management, Plugins for Excel (also known as “add-ins”) have elevated Microsoft to titan status. Its versatility and functions have made this particular tool indispensable for professionals to use across various industries. However, to truly unlock the potential of Excel and make your data come alive, the use of plugins for excel is a must! These Plugins are designed to assist you with data visualisation. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring how these excel plugins can transform your excel experience and help you harness the power of visual analytics.

The Importance of Data Visualisation 

Before we dive into the world of Excel plugins, let’s first understand why data visualisation matters. In today’s world of abundant and complex data, making sense of rows and columns filled with numbers can be a real puzzle. This is where data visualisation steps in.

Data visualisation is the art and science of turning data into pictures or graphs. It’s like using colours and shapes to show patterns, trends, and unusual things that might hide in the raw data. Think about it as making data easier to understand.

Imagine you have a giant pile of data with lots of numbers. Trying to make sense of it by staring at those numbers can be confusing. Data visualisation takes that data and transforms it into colourful charts and graphs. These visuals not only make data easier to grasp but also help you make better decisions.

Whether you’re looking at sales data, website visitors, or survey results, data visualisation helps you tell a clear and compelling story with your data. It’s a great way to share insights with colleagues, clients, or anyone interested in understanding your data.

Plugins for excel : supercharge your data analysis with 5 top ranked tools

Now, let’s add some more facts about data visualisation:

  • Data visualization tools range from simple spreadsheet graphs to sophisticated software capable of creating interactive and dynamic visualisations.
  • Effective data visualisation can lead to improved decision-making, as it allows people to quickly grasp complex information and identify trends and outliers.
  • In the age of big data, data visualization is becoming increasingly important in fields such as business, healthcare, and scientific research.
  • The human brain processes visual information faster than text, making data visualisation an efficient way to convey information.
  • Data visualisation has been around for centuries, with early examples found in maps and charts created by explorers and scientists.

So, as we set out to explore Excel plugins, keep in mind that data visualisation is a fundamental skill that can help you make sense of the data and share meaningful insights with others.

Why use Excel Plugins for Data Visualisation

While Excel offers basic charting and graphing capabilities, it has its limitations. Excel Plugins on the other hand, extend Excel’s functionalities, which provide advanced features and customisations for data visualisation. So here’s a list of reasons as to why you should consider using them.

  1. Enhanced Chart Types: Excel plugins offer a wide range of chart types beyond the standard options in Excel. Whether you need heat maps, bubble charts, or network diagrams, there’s likely a plugin that can create it.
  2. Interactive Dashboards: Many Excel Plugins allow you to build interactive dashboards, where users can filter and explore data dynamically. This feature is invaluable for presenting complex information in a user- friendly manner.
  3. Advanced Formatting: Excel Plugins often provide more control over formatting and styling options, allowing you to create professional-looking charts and graphs.
  4. Data Integration: Some plugins often provide more control over the formatting and styling options, which allows you to create those professional looking charts and graphs 

Now that we’ve got an overview on why we use Excel for Data Visualisation – lets take a look at some great plugin options for Excel.

Power Bl

Power BI is a robust business intelligence tool that integrates seamlessly with Excel, you can import data from Excel into Power BI and create interactive reports and dashboards. Power BI also offers a wide range of visualisation options, making it an excellent choice for data driven organisations.


  • Drag and Drop interface which makes for an easy report creation.
  • Support for a library of data sources.
  • Customisable dashboard with interactive elements.
  • Real-time data updates and sharing capabilities.
  • An advanced AI and machine learning feature for data analysis.


A popular data visualisation tool that can connect to Excel spreadsheets, this tool provides an intuitive drag and drop interface for creating stunning visualisations. Tableau’s strength lies in its ability to handle large datasets and create complex interactive dashboards.


  • Drag and Drop functionality for instant visualisation creation.
  • Robust data connect options, including Excel.
  • Advanced calculations and scripting capabilities.
  • Has great support for handling large datasets with high performance.
  • Extensive sharing and collaboration features.


This is an open source Javascript library that offers Excel users the capability to create interactive, web based visualisations directly from their spreadsheets. It’s perfect for those who want to share their data visualisations online or embed them in web applications


  • Web-Based charts and graphs that can be embedded in websites or presentations.
  • Support for a variety of chart types, which include scatter plots, bar charts and plenty more.
  • You also get Real-time updating of charts as data changes
  • Customisation options for colours, labels and styling. 


This plugin for excel is specifically designed for creating professional charts and presentations. It Streamlines the process of building complex chart types and ensures that your charts are always up-to-date with your Excel data.


  • Advanced chart formatting options which makes it a great plugin for excel.
  • Integration with Excel data for automatic updates.
  • Streamlines creation of charts like waterfall charts, Gantt charts and Mekko charts, again another reason to use this plugin for excel.

Power Query

While this isn’t a traditional data visualisation tool. Power Query is an Excel add-in that allows you to transform shape and clean your data before creating visualisations. Clean and structured data is the foundation of effective data visualisation.


  • Data source connectivity which makes for a wide range of databases and file formats.
  • Easy to use query editor for building custom data queries.
  • The ability to load clean and structure data into Excel worksheets.

How do I install Plugins for Excel?

Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel

Begin by launching Microsoft Excel on your computer. Make sure you have a compatible version of Excel installed. The process for adding plugins is similar across different versions.

Step 2: Go to the Excel Add-ins Store

  1. In Excel, click on the “Insert” tab in the ribbon at the top of the window.
  2. From the “Insert” tab, locate and click on the “Get Add-ins” options. This will open the Excel Add-ins Store.
plugins for excel

Step 3: Browse and Search for Plugins

  1. In the Excel Add-ins Store, you can browse through featured plugins or use the search bar to find a specific plugin.
  2. Once you’ve found the plugin you want, click on it to learn more about its features and compatibility.

Step 4: Install the Chosen Plugin

  1. After selecting a plugin, you’ll see an “Add” or “Install” button. Click on it to begin the installation process.
  2. Excel will prompt you to confirm the installation. Click “Continue” or “Add” to proceed.

Step 5: Manage Your Installed Plugins

  1. To check the status of your installed plugins, go back to Excel and click on the “Insert” tab.
  2. Select “My Add-ins” to see a list of your installed plugins. From here, you can activate, deactivate, or remove plugins as needed.

Step 6: Start Using Your New Plugin

  1. Once installed, your chosen plugin will be available for use in Excel.
  2. Access the plugin’s features by following its instructions, which may involve adding new menu options, buttons, or tools to Excel’s interface.

More information on Excel plugins here

With all the listed plugins, in conclusion plugins for excel are great to have, as these powerful tools help create and empower you to explore, analyse, and communicate data in ways that were once unimaginable. So by integrating these plugins into your excel workflow, you gain the ability to turn raw data into actionable insights, have stunning visualisations and compelling reports, Whether you choose Power BI for its seamless integration, Tableau for is great robust features, Plotly for web-based interactivity, Think-Cell for professional charting, or even Power Query for data cleansing, your excel journey is about to become more efficient an visually captivating. So dive in, explore the many different plugins for excel and elevate your experience in doing so!

Now that you’ve unlocked the full potential of Excel through the use of plugins, why not explore our other articles focusing on advanced business analytics tools.

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