Stacked bar(column) charts are a popular way to depict 2 more series of related data, like sales of 2 products.
But there are several ways to stack the bars in a bar chart. Here is a list of 6 ways to stack them
1. One on top of another
Advantages: Easy to create, takes less space
Drawbacks: Hard to compare, only first value starts at zero
Advantages: Easy to read and compare
Drawbacks: takes more space, needs extra calculation for the gap series
Advantages: looks fancy and takes less space, good for large data sets
Drawbacks: needs extra calculation
4. Partially Overlapped
Advantages: Easy to compare, Easy to make
Drawbacks: One series dominates another, good where domination is needed (like this vs. last year)
5. Completely Overlapped
Advantages: easy to compare
Drawbacks: Needs extra formatting, not always produces good results
6. Hanged from Top and Bottom
Drawbacks: difficult to compare, needs extra formula to calculate gap series
I like 2 and 5 and use them whenever I can.
What about you? How do you like your bars?
PS: for the purpose of discussion neglect other important chart elemets like labels, colors etc.
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
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