Excel Stacked Bar Chart
The stacked bar chart in excel is a type of bar chart in excel which is used to represent data in the form of bars, the bars are the representation of different segments or categories, a stacked bar chart is used to show a comparison between different types of data in their values.
A Stacked Bar chart is one of the charts provided by Excel to allow users to compare the elements of different categories. In the stacked bar chart, data is represented in horizontal and vertical bars. The segments of data are adjacent in horizontal bars and the segments of data are in stacked bars in vertical bars. Every bar on the chart is divided into sub-elements representing the data in different parts. Each subpart is represented in the same color.
It is easy to differentiate the whole chart and elements of the bar applying the separate formatting to each element of the bar. In this article, we are going to understand the stacked bar chart by covering the following sections
How to Create a Stacked Bar Chart in Excel?
In excel, these charts are available in different options such as 2D bars, 2D 100% stacked bars, 3D bars, and 3D 100% stacked bars are available. Several basic steps are followed to use and create the stacked bar chart in Excel.
Below are the examples to be considered.
Example #1 – 2D Stacked Bar Chart
Step 1 – First, select the data to create a chart.
Step 2 – Go to Insert Tab and click on column Chart and select 2D Stacked Bar from the Charts section.
Step 3 – By selecting the stacked bar option, a chart is created as shown in the figure.
Step 4 – After insertion of a stacked bar chart, Design and Format tabs are highlighted. We can use them to change the appearance, layout, new styles to chart, switching to row or column, and inserting and formatting the shape as shown in the figure.
The following formatting options are also added to enhance the visualization of the data as presented in the screenshot.
Formatting is applied by utilizing the ‘Chart Options’ and ‘Text Options’ presented under the Format chart area.
Example #2 – 100% 2D Stacked Bar Chart
Go to Insert Tab and click on column Chart in excel and select 100% 2D Stacked Bar from the Charts section.
By selecting a 100% stacked bar chart, the results are observed as follows.
From the results, it is observed that the numbers are displayed horizontally and months of January, February, March, and etc. are displayed vertically.
The stacked bar is compared the sales in different months with respect to time whereas a 100% stacked bar is created considering the percentage of each bar contributing to total sales from the year 2015 to 2018. In this, the bars are indicated with different colors to differentiate the United States and India. The United States is indicated with Blue color and India is indicated with Orange color to show differentiation between them and comparing the total sales generated in both countries.
Example #3 – 3D Stacked Bar Chart
Step 1 – First, select the data to create a chart.
Step 2 – To create a chart, we have to select options from the 3D bar chart including a stacked bar chart and a 100% stacked bar chart.
Step 3 – Go to Insert Tab and click on column Chart and select 3D Stacked Bar from the Charts section.
Step 4 – By selecting the stacked bar option, a chart is created as shown in the figure.
Example #4 – 100% 3D Stacked Bar Chart
Step 1 – Go to Insert Tab and click on column Chart and select 100% 3D Stacked Bar from the Charts section.
Step 2 – By selecting a 100% stacked bar chart, the results are observed as follows.
The results produced in the two examples are the same since the 3D chart does not any impact on the results. It results in changes in appearance only by applying the 3D format. The formatting applied to 2D is also applicable.
Relevance and Uses
Stacked bar charts designed and developed to help the users to perform a comparison of different elements simultaneously and to observe how the changes in each element will change the total value in different categories.
Appropriate Scenarios to Use Stacked Bar Chart
- Comparisons: With the help of a stacked bar chart in Excel, we can easily compare the data provided such as production, sales, profits, and values
- Ranking: It helps to show rankings over a certain duration of time by differentiating the data gathered through color and length of the bars
- Results of Survey: It is widely used in analyzing the results of a survey to highlight the key aspects and differentiate the data
- Differentiating small part to entire part: It is widely used to differentiate every part of data to whole part to clearly show the data what the chart is focusing.
Inappropriate Scenarios to Use Stacked Bar Chart
- Large data sets: it is not preferable when a large amount of data is presented since it is difficult to analyze the data in large variants
- In-depth analysis: It doesn’t suitable for making long-term decisions since conducting a deeper analysis of the data is hard with a stacked bar chart.
Things to Remember
The following tips help to proper utilization of stacked bar charts in excel.
- A stacked bar chart is not useful in the situation of data comparison to depth level, the presence of a number of segments, and the need for comparing each element with other elements.
- Proper visualization for data on the stacked bar chart is added through trend lines, titles, formatting the axes, and clustering data
- We can easily apply the format to the bars on the chart by right-clicking on the bar and choose the format based on the needs and requirements.
- The title needs to be added to the chart to ensure an easier understanding of what the stacked bar chart is representing
- There is no change in the results when a different type of stacked bar charts are applied to the data.
This has been a guide to Stacked Bar Chart in Excel. Here we learn how to Create 1) 2D 2) 100% 2D 3) 3D 4) 100% 3D Stacked Bar Chart in Excel with Examples and downloadable excel template. You can learn more about excel functions from the following articles –