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Bar Charts in Excel

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Bar charts are the pictorial representation of data. It is one of the easiest ways to represent data, they are also known as a bar graph or bar diagram. They are plotted vertically. A vertical bar chart is sometimes also called a column chart. The important thing you should always make sure while making a bar chart is that you make sure to leave gaps between the bars.

Bar Charts in Excel

Bar charts are been used to present graphical data using a number of bars of different heights. A bar chart is a chart that uses bars to show comparisons between categories of data. A bar diagram also makes it easy to compare sets of data between different groups at a glance. The important thing to know in the bar chart is that the longer bars have the greater its value. The coloured bars which are formed are the data series.

Types of Bar Charts

  • Clustered Bar Chart: Clustered Bar Chart is also called a Grouped bar chart. It makes separate Bar for each value entered. But as the category increases it is very difficult to read the Clustered bar chart.
  • Stacked Bar Chart: The stacked bar chart is also known as a stacked bar graph. The parts of the data are close to only horizontal bars. This graph is ideal for comparing the total amounts across each group or segmented bar.
  • 100% Stack Bar Chart: It allows us to compare many measures through bars stacked one after the other horizontally. It becomes harder to read if there are multiple segments.
  • Waterfall Chart: A waterfall chart is also called a waterfall graph, bridge graph, bridge chart, cascade chart, flying bricks chart, and net profit waterfall chart. It is useful for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of positive and negative values.
  • 3-D Clustered Bar: It plots the data sets into horizontal rectangles. This shows up data with a 3-D visual effect.
  • 3-D Stacked Bar: These charts are preferably used to compare two data sets and show variants of each item compared. This presents data with a 3-D visual effect.
  • 3-D 100% Stacked Bar: It represents the data using the effects of 3-D, also does a third value axis that is three data sets that can be compared as a whole.

Features of Bar Charts

  • Bar charts are rectangular bars of the same width.
  • It is used to present several data items as bars aligned at the other end, whose sizes are proportional to the corresponding data item values.
  • They are used to make comparisons between two different sets of data.
  • It shows changes in data over data in a graphical manner.

How to Create a Bar Chart

Here in this example, we have taken a data set that gives information about the number of participants taken part in the various activities.

Step-1: Enter the data in the spreadsheet and select the entire data

Selection_Bar Charts

Step-2: Insert Chart

Go to Insert >Click Insert column or Bar chart and select clustered Bar chart.

Insert_Bar Chart

Your Bar chart will look like this

And here your bar chart is ready where you can see number of participants involved in number of activities.

Bar charts

You can also customize your Bar charts as follows

  • To change your chart type, right-click on the chart, and select “change chart type”.
  • To add data labels, right-click on the chart, and select “add data labels”.
  • To apply different shape styles, click “Format > shape styles” and pick a style.

Pros & Cons of Bar Charts

  • The bar graph is easily understandable because of their extensive use in business and the media.
  • As we know that tabulated data can be presented through diagrams or charts like bar charts, which enable the users with a quicker comprehension of the facts presented otherwise.
  • It’s easy and simple to build.
  • It becomes complicated when there are uneven data sets.
  • Multiple data sets would lead to difficulty in interpreting the graph by the users.

Some quick tips to create beautiful Bar Charts

  • Always pick the right graph according to your requirement.
  • you can also customize your bar widths. In Bar Chart the width of the bars should be equal, and length can be variable.
  • Unless you have a group chart avoid using multiple colours in bar charts instead of that stick to a single colour.
  • Always make sure that your data is precise and fixed entering extra data can make it look complicated
  • Keep it simple and clear so that the users can understand easily.

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