Here is another form of diagrams, that can not be built in Excel. Generally, in most cases, you can live without it, but there are times when it can be invaluable.
Imagine: you want to compare 20 different cars on a number of factors: acceleration to 60 mph, horsepower, swept volume, buyers evaluation, and etc. All these criteria have different scales and units: seconds, horsepower, subjective evaluation from 1 to 5, liters … In such cases, there are two standard solutions:
Draw a separate graph for each indicator; in this case you will not be able to compare one car with the other under all characteristics.
Compose a table that takes a lot of time and attention to read
As a helpful solution, here is parallel coordinates where all scales are normalized:
Example above illustrates social-demographic analysis. In contrast to Excel, where we can fit only 3 axis (one on X and two on Y), there are no restrictions.
If there are less than 5-7 axis, they can be composed to make up a circle; similar meaning axis can be placed closer to each other. The example below is taken from www.Hiveplot.com — where you can find many interesting things. Its author Martin Krzywinski describes the possibility of using these diagrams in science (particularly in description of human genome). He calls these graphs — Hive graphs, and considers them applicable only for large data sets.