Pareto Chart Worksheet-Summary Data


Allows you to create a Pareto Chart using summarized data. You can use the Pareto chart to evaluate which inputs or categories cause the greatest pain or have the greatest impact on a process output.

Answers the questions:
  • Which defects occur the most frequently?
  • Which defects cost the most or incur the highest cost of poor quality (COPQ)?
  • Which inputs cause the most defects? Or the least defects?
When to Use Purpose
Pre-project Assist in project selection by identifying defects that cause the most customer pain, have the highest COPQ, etc.
Mid-project Assist in evaluating inputs and setting aside unmportant ones. For example, you can compare the relative frequencies of a problem occurring as a result of different inputs to determine which inputs are likely to be important. Or you could compare the frequencies of the problem at various levels of an input variable to determine whether changing the input has any effect. Inputs eliminated this way are likely to be of little importance to the project.
End of project Report on the relative frequency or cost of the defect after improvements have been made.


Your data must be summarized. Each category (defect) name recorded in one column should be summarized with a count or cost value in another column. If your data are raw (the name of the defect is entered into the column every time it occurs), use the Pareto Chart Worksheet - Raw form.


  1. Determine the categories (defects) to be compared and how they will be summarized (count, cost, and so on).
  2. In the Label column, record the category (defect) names.
  3. In the Value column, record the number of occurrences or cost for each defect.
  4. If you want to create a clustered bar chart, add another Value column to the data table in design mode.
    1. Right-click the text box control.
    2. Choose Properties, and specify a numeric data type.
    3. Right-click the chart.
    4. Choose Properties, and select the new control in Comparison Data Values.
    The clustered bars appear when you enter the numeric values into the Value columns in fill-out mode. (For example, you can create a clustered bar chart to compare the number of defects by category in 2005 and 2006 by recording the number of defects for each year in a separate Value column).
  5. If you want to modify the Pareto chart display (titles, colors, labels, and so on), right-click the chart in design mode, choose Properties, and click the Labels and Options tabs.
  6. View the completed graph and summarize its main results in the Conclusion section.


  • Consider focusing efforts on the defects whose vertical bars account for most (about 80%) of the total defects. These defects are likely to have the greatest impact on the process output.
  • If the Pareto chart is flat (all vertical bars are about the same height and the cumulative percentage line is straight), you should identify focus areas based on other factors (financial gain, ease of change, and so on) or consider redefining the defects to better identify major problem areas.
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