Versions of Bar graphs
There are different categories of bar graphs that you can choose from.
And guess what? Each one of them has different uses which are discussed below.
Clustered bar chart
Clustered bar charts (also called grouped bar charts) are ideal for comparing different sets of data.
To create a clustered bar chart:
- Select the subject data.
The data above represents the rating for different mobile phone brands for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Can you quickly tell which brand won the highest rating in which year? Hard to tell now but once we pull off a grouped bar chart out of this data – it will take you a nanosecond to tell that.
- Go to the Insert tab > Charts Group > Bar Chart Icon.
- Select clustered bar chart under 2D Bars.
Excel will insert a clustered bar chart to your worksheet as shown below:
Pay attention to the legends at the bottom. Grey color stands for 2021, orange for 2020, and blue for 2019.
Take a quick test! In which year did Samsung win the best rating?
We see the grey bar for Samsung as the longest. So, Samsung won the best rating in 2021 ✌
Clustered charts work best when you want to compare multiple datasets. They allow you to make comparisons between different categories in a compact space.
Stacked bar graph
The next version on the list is a stacked bar chart.
To make a stacked bar chart, let’s take the data in the example below.
Very similar to the data in the above example, this data series only has an additional column for the year 2022.
To create a stacked bar chart out of it:
- Select the data.
- Go to the Insert tab > Recommended Charts.
- From the chart window, click on the bar chart icon.
- Select a stacked bar chart.
This is how stacked bar charts present data.
In the graph, stacked bars present each company’s yearly rating with a different color.
This makes it easy to read the chart. If you use a 100% stacked bar chart, Excel will compare each category’s proportions like below:
Double bar graph
A double bar graph is used to present a comparison between two datasets.
It comes under the clustered chart type. Let’s make one to see what it looks like.
Here is the sales data for different beverages over two months as an example.
To make a double bar graph out of the data series above:
- Go to the Insert tab > Charts Group.
- Click on the bar chart icon.
- Select clustered bar chart from the resulting menu.
And here comes a double bar graph.
The graph above offers an easy comparison of the sales of beverages for January and February.
Clearly, February (shown by orange-colored bars) has higher sales for each beverage.