Spider Chart


The Spider chart, also known as star plot or radar chart, is a descriptive tool that allows the comparison of values of multiples variables over a small number of observations. Each observation determines a polygon around a central point that can be compared visually.


To illustrate the use of the Spider Chart tool, we will use run it on some disease data for the Grampians.

  • Select Grampians SA3 (Australia → Victoria → Rest of Victoria → North West → Grampians) as your area
  • Select SA2 Chronic Disease – Modelled Estimate as your dataset, selecting all the variables.


  • Dataset Input: The dataset that you would like to run your analysis on. There is a maximum of 9 rows. For this, we have selected SA2 Chronic Disease – Modelled Estimate.
  • Variable List: This refers to what will be on the ‘spokes’ of the web. It is important to select at least 3 variables. Also, make sure that the variables that you select are similar to each other – for instance, different counts of diseases, or perhaps different counts of individuals within age groups, or income groups. Select the following:
    • High Cholesterol – Rate per 100
    • Hypertension – Rate per 100
    • Persons with Mental and Behavioural Problems – Rate per 100
    • Musculoskeletal System Diseases – Rate per 100
    • Males with Mental and Behavioural Problems – Rate per 100
  • Observation Labels: This refers to the column that tells you the codes or names of the areas within your table. Select Statistical Area Level 2 Name.
  • Chart Title: Here you can specify the name of your chart. Type Spider Chart
  • Show Gridlines: Specify whether or not you want a grid (checked box) or no grid (empty box) on your chart. Tick this box.
  • Greyscale: Specify whether or not you want your graph in greyscale (checked box) or colour (empty box). Untick this box.

Once you have entered your parameters, click Run Tool to execute the tool.


Once your graph tool has run, click the Display Output button that appears on the pop-up dialogue box. Your graph should look something like the image shown below.

The plot displays a line for each SA2 region which can be identified with the legend on the right-hand side. The closer the line is to the outside of the chart indicates the higher the rate per 100 that each disease is in the region.

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