How To Make a Column Chart in Excel
Stacked Column Chart
In Stacked Column Chart, data series of various categories are stacked one upon another in vertical columns. It is used to compare the contribution of a value to a Total. These charts are useful when you want to:
– Compare part to whole data over time
– Compare part to whole data over category
Let’s look at an example to understand how data is displayed in a Stacked Column Chart Excel.
This data table represents the sales amount for the North & South region from the year 2010 to 2014. Using this data, you can create a Stacked Column Chart to compare the sales amount for both the regions over the time period.
Years used of the analysis are plotted along the X-Axis and the regional sales amount are series and each region’s sales amount are shown on the Y-Axis.
To learn how to create this Chart, go through our blog on Stacked Column Chart.
This representation of data not only helps you to understand the growth of individual segments and also the comparison between the two. You can spot the sales amount for both the North Region (Blue Bar) & South Region (Red Bar) and also see how the sales amounts increase/decrease over time.
In Excel Stacked Bar Chart, data series of various categories are stacked one upon another in horizontal columns.
100% Stacked Column Chart
This 100% Stacked column chart is different from the Stacked Column Chart only in terms of representation of the column bars:
- In a Stacked Column chart, the height of each bar is the total value of a category
- In 100% Stacked Column Chart, the height of each bar is the same (100%) and the segments are shown as a percentage of the total value.
So the value of each bar in 100% Stacked Column Chart Excel will always be 100 irrespective of the total value. The vertical axis of this chart contains percentage figures and not absolute value!
For example, if you want to show the percentage of contributions for the North & South sales over the last 5 years then this is the chart for you.
Make sure to download the exercise workbook to follow along:
STEP 1: Select the table on where we want to create the chart.
STEP 2: Go to Insert > Column > 100% Stacked Column
Your chart is now ready:
As you can see, it is easy to compare the sales amount for each region with the Excel 100% Stacked Column Chart.
Even though the Y-axis is plotted as a percentage. If you wish to view the sales amount of any region at any year, you can simply hover upon the column and watching the tooltip.
For example, you want to know the sales amount for the North Region in the year 2012. You can hover upon that column and see that the sales amount is $50,492.
Convert Year in Data Table to Text
One thing you need to make sure when creating a chart using this data table is that the first column containing years should be converted to text. If this is not done, then by default Excel will treat them as numerical values and will be included in the calculation of Northern and Southern sales.
To convert a number to text, simply add an apostrophe in front of the number.
Thermometer Excel Chart
Thermometer Charts are one of the many Charts you can create in Excel. It does not really exist in Excel, however we can get creative and create our own.
A Thermometer Chart gives you a good view of the percentage of progress made on your project, budget etc.
We are going to use a Column Chart and customize it to make it look like a thermometer.
In this example I show you how easy it is to insert a Thermometer Chart using Excel.
STEP 1: Given your data, ensure that you have the Percentage computed.
We have the Percentage computed as the Total divided by the Goal Amount.
STEP 2: Select the Percentage value, and select Insert > Column Charts > 2-D Clustered Column
STEP 3: Right-click on the Header and Click Delete.
STEP 4: Right-click on the bottom column name and Click Delete
STEP 5: Right click on the Column itself, and Select Format Data Series.
Set the Gap Width to 0%. This will ensure the column fills our entire chart.
STEP 6: Right click on the Column percentages, and Select Format Axis.
Set the Maximum to 1. This will ensure our range is from 0% to 100%.
STEP 7: Resize the chart to a smaller size. You now have your Thermometer Chart ready.
Update your data values and see the chart go up and down!