Nov 24, 2022
15 min read

How to Use Performance Appraisal Spider Chart for Employee Evaluation

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Did you know that you can use radar charts and spider graphs when conducting employee performance appraisal? 

In fact, many businesses use this method to display data points in different axes and dimensions. Spider graphs are great for visualizing and comparing employee strengths, weaknesses and even specific performance results.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the spider chart concept, explore its ins and outs, and show how to build a radar graph step-by-step.

What is a performance appraisal spider chart?

performance appraisal spider chart

In short, a spider graph is a diagram illustrating data points in a logical as well as visual manner. Radar chart examples are built in concentric circles and are often used for data values and factor comparison. For instance, you can evaluate a person’s strengths and weaknesses or assess their KPIs to other team members. 

In other words, a spider graph helps you connect different ideas while visualizing the difficult concept to grasp through data. Often, spider charts are used for business and organizational projects, including employee performance appraisal.

When it comes to key components, a spider graph contains the following:

  1. A center. The core of a spider chart from which axes take their beginning.
  2. Axes starting from a center. At least three axes are involved, each representing particular variables.
  3. Different grids. With axes dividing the spider chart, you get grids showing information.
  4. Key values. Different values are portrayed for each specific axis using a distinctive color.

You can see that the spider chart represents variables and values you want to compare or cross-reference. You can assess the skills of different employees, seeing who is a top performer and who underperforms. 

A spider diagram helps turn raw data from previous performance assessments into tangible insights. As a result, you get a visual representation of the data you have chosen to examine. 

How to prepare a spider chart step-by-step?

Now, let's find out how to make a spider chart from scratch. Even if you know how to build one in Excel, you still need to understand the overall approach toward the radar chart-building process. Respectively, there are five steps involved.

Step 1: Choosing a topic for a radar chart or a spider chart

First, you must select a topic before building a spider graph. It will be the body of a spider chart. Next, choose something broad, represent it with a word, and place it in the circle of the radar chart. As a result, your key concept serves as the spider chart's center point.

Step 2: Examining any related subtopics and the same data

The next step is about identifying subtopics. They must be related to the key topic above. Each given subtopic within radar charts will have its dedicated circle. For instance, you have the main topic of employee performance. As subtopics, you choose everything that connects to the employee’s performance and is more specific - the ability to meet deadlines, teamwork, verbal communication, etc. 

These circles will be represented as a radial pattern around the center point, each connected to it with a line. Keep in mind that subtopics are more specific than the center point.

Step 3: Extracting details, data values, and multivariate data

The further phase includes adding details. Make subtopics as specific as possible. To illustrate, the closest subtopic to the main topic can be communication. Then, as you move further, the subtopic will be mode detailed - verbal communication, written communication, etc.

The rule of thumb dictates that the farther a subtopic from a center point, the more detailed it should be. This represents your ideas narrowing down, starting from the center to the farthest subtopic.

Step 4: Reexamining the chart type, comparing values, and checking multiple dimensions

The next step is to review your radar chart. You need to make sure it makes sense and includes all the data sets, variables, and subtopics. Always double-check your radar charts.

Step 5: Sharing insights into spider charts and display data

When you turn data into insights, it's time to share. A spider graph is an excellent tool for collaboration. Share with teams what you have learned from the data. Based on the insights, a team can develop an action plan to boost employee performance. If someone lacks communication, they can be assigned additional training or a mentor. If an employee don’t meet deadlines, they can be taught better organizational skills via courses or training as well. 

How do you use a spider graph or radar chart to evaluate employee strengths and weaknesses?

Spider graph or radar chart

Image source: Freepik

First, you need to have Excel for the method to work. Once you open a new Excel sheet and type in the variables you want to compare, it is time to build the chart.

Select the chart data points, data sets, and variables in the Excel sheet as shown below.

Spider graph data points excel

Next, go to the Insert Tab above, look for the Chart icon, and click it.

Spider graph chart icon

You will see the menu opening to the left and a random chart appearing at the center of your Excel sheet. Left, you'll see the dropdown list tagged "chart type." Click on it.

Spider graph chart type excel

There will be several charts available. But first, you need to scroll down and look for a spider chart or radar chart and choose it.

Spider graph or radar chart excel

Finally, you'll see an up-and-running radar graph offering a visually appealing representation of the data you inserted.

Spider chart graph excel


A spider graph is an effective way to represent information linked and interlinked to one particular topic visually. If you know how to build a spider chart correctly, it will be easy for the audience to read it and draw valuable conclusions.

Use the above mentioned steps and tricks to tap into the full potential of radar charts. Yet, if you are still unsure how to do that, we are here to help. You can sign up for free right now

FAQ: Performance Appraisal Spider Chart

What is a spider chart used for?

A spider chart is different from bar charts and line graphs. It is often used to connect various ideas and variables. This helps find solutions based on data visualization.

What is a spider graph called?

A spider graph is also known as a web chart, a radar chart, a star chart, a polar chart, a star plot, or a spider web chart. Though different names are involved, the goal is to drive insights from variables.

How do you make a spider chart?

The simplest way to create a spider graph is to use Excel. Type in the variables, select them, go to the Insert tab, click on Charts, and choose a radar chart from the dropdown menu on the left. 

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