How to Build a PowerPoint Organizational Chart With Excel Data

An organizational chart visually displays the hierarchical structure and reporting relationships within a company or organization. Building one in PowerPoint using data from Excel is an easy and effective way to create and share this useful information.

Step 1: Set Up the Organizational Chart Data in Excel

First, open a new Excel worksheet to input the data for your organizational chart. The key information you need is:

  • Name – The person’s first and last name
  • Reports To – The name of the person each employee reports to
  • Title – The employee’s job title
  • Department – The department they work in

Enter this data for each employee, with one employee per row. Make sure to include the top executive (usually the CEO) who doesn’t report to anyone.

It’s also helpful to include additional columns like employee ID, telephone extension, email address, etc. if you want to display more information in your chart.

Once your data is entered, double check that the hierarchy and reporting structure is correct. Then save the Excel file.

Excel organizational chart data

Step 2: Create the Base Organizational Chart in PowerPoint

Open the PowerPoint presentation where you want to insert the org chart. Go to the Insert tab and click SmartArt in the Illustrations group.

In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic window, select the Hierarchy category on the left. Then double click the organizational chart layout you want to use.

Choosing an organizational chart layout in PowerPoint

This will insert the base structure of the org chart with placeholder text onto your slide.

Step 3: Link the Excel Data to the PowerPoint Chart

Go back to the Excel file with your org chart data and copy the first name from column A.

Click the top shape in the PowerPoint org chart and paste the name you copied from Excel. Repeat this process to add the title and any other data you want displayed.

Continue pasting the Excel data into the corresponding shapes of the PowerPoint org chart until complete.

Pasting Excel data into PowerPoint org chart

This approach works but can be time consuming if you have a large chart. A quicker way is to link the Excel data to PowerPoint.

Go to the Insert tab in PowerPoint and click Object > Create from File > Browse. Select the Excel file with your org chart data and check the Link box.

Now when you update the Excel data, it will automatically flow into the linked PowerPoint organizational chart.

Step 4: Customize the Look and Feel

Once your Excel data is displayed in the PowerPoint org chart, customize the look by selecting the chart and exploring the SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs.

Change colors, styles, layouts and more to make the visual appealing and on-brand. Consider adding photos of each employee to make it more engaging.

Customized organizational chart in PowerPoint

Step 5: Keep the Excel and PowerPoint Files Together

When you save your PowerPoint presentation, a copy of the linked Excel data is not saved with it. To make sure anyone you share the PowerPoint with can see the updated information, send both the PowerPoint and Excel files together.

Now whenever you update the Excel org chart data, you can refresh the linked chart in PowerPoint by right-clicking and selecting Update Link to pull in the latest information.

Following these steps makes it easy to build a PowerPoint organizational chart using Excel data. This dynamic, linked chart will always stay up-to-date!