Before starting at the data school, I was keen to go into training to learn a multitude of chart types as I saw a huge array of data visualizations from previous applicants. However, as I was exposed to more client projects, I started to notice that clients are mostly interested in bar charts and line charts even though they were simple and repetitive. The main reason for this is how easy is to digest and so I have decided to do a series on other useful but easy-to-understand graphs that will be helpful for your professional life.

Today, we will look at the following extensions to the simple bar chart:

  1. Stacked Bar Chart
  2. Side-by-Side Bar Chart
  3. Bullet Chart

Stacked Bar Chart

Use Case: Stacked bar charts are used to show how a larger category is divided into smaller subcategories and what the relationship of each part has on the total amount. It can be seen as another form of a pie chart.

There are two types of stacked bar charts: Standard Stacked Bar Chart and 100% Stack Bar Chart. The standard one is easier to compare total amounts while the 100% bar chart allows for easier deciphering the relative differences within each group

How to create a standard stacked bar chart:

  1. Move the category (region) and measure value (sales) into the axis to create a bar graph.
  2. Drag the sub-category (category) into the colour.

How to create a 100%  stacked bar chart:

  1. Following from step 2 above, we need to add a table calculation. Click sum sales > quick table calculation > percent of total

    2. We need to modify this table calculation to restart at each region within the view

    3. Final Result

Multi-set Bar Chart

Use Case: Multi-set Bar charts are used when 2 or more data series need to be plotted on the same axis and grouped into parent categories. It is similar to a stacked bar chart but is much easier to compare multiple data series side by side.

How to create a multi-set bar chart:

  1. Move the category (region) and measure value (sales) into the axis to create a bar graph.
  2. Drag the sub-category (category) onto the same axis as your category. Drag category onto colour for a better visual.

Bullet Chart

Use Case: a Bullet Chart is used to compare actual performance against their predicted goals

How to create a bullet chart:

If you have data in the following format:

  1. Create the actual performance bar graph by dragging ID’s on rows and the measure value on columns.
  2. Put the value of “goals” into the level of detail.
  3. Add reference line for the goals. Right click the bottom axis and press “Add reference line” and configure the window as followed:

  4. To add shade gauges, create another reference line as such.

  5. Adjust the size of the green bar to smaller

That’s all for this edition of my blog. In the next edition, we will explore a histogram chart, butterfly chart and a gaant chart

Nam Nguyen
Author: Nam Nguyen