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Stacked column chart in excel is a column chart where multiple series of the data representation of various categories are stacked over each other, the series which are stacked are vertical and the comparison for multiple data series is easy but as the number of data series increases the complexity of representation also increases.
Table of Contents
Stacked Column Chart in Excel
A Stacked Column Chart in Excel is used to represent discrete data, where each bar represents one row in the dataset. In layman terms, it is a graphical representation of data using bars of heights representing the data. A stacked column is a bar chart where one column contains the values of all legends (columns) present in the dataset. It is called as ‘stacked’ because all legends’ values are stacked in the single bar for each row in the dataset.
The purpose of the Stacked Chart is to assess the discrete dataset such as Student Marks, Population, etc.
A Stacked Column excel chart is made up of 5 parts such as Title, Horizontal axis, Columns / Bars, Vertical axis and Legends.
- The title describes the information about the Stacked Column
- (Horizontal) The x-axis represents individual entry for which the values are to be presented.
- Bars The height of a bar represents the total value as sum of the values of all the legend.
- (Vertical) Y-axis denotes the intervals spanning across the lowest and highest value.
- Legend describes the type/category of the dataset that contributes to the column bars.
Types of Stacked Column Chart in Excel
- Stacked Column
- 3-D Stacked Column Chart
- 100% Stacked Column
- 3-D 100% Stacked Column
How to Create a Stacked Column Chart in Excel?
Stacked Column Chart is very simple and easy to use. Let understand the working of with some examples.
Example #1 – Steps to Create a Basic Excel Stacked Column Chart
- Step 1 – Select the range of cells (rows and columns) containing the data to be presented using a stacked column graph. This would be the input data for the chart.
- Step 2 – Click on Recommended Charts as shown in the below figure.
- Step 3 – Select Columns-> Stacked Column Excel Chart from the given list -> Click OK
Example #2 – Stacked Column
As shown in the above figure, the data consists of 2 columns B and C indicating marks of Maths and Science, respectively.
The chart on the right side is a stacked column graph wherein X-axis represents the sequence of each entry such as 1, 2, 3, …, 10. The Y-axis indicates marks. The interval is auto-generated by Excel to 50 hence the values are 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250. The height of the bars represents the value. As the name of the chart is “stacked”, the legends are stacked in a single column. As seen in the chart, blue color indicates column 1 i.e. Maths m marks and orange color indicates column 2 i.e. Science marks.
The maximum value shown by each column bar is the total of all the values of each legend. E.g. 50 + 70 = 120 for column 1.
Example #3 – 3-D Stacked Column
A 3-D stacked column is different from the default stacked column graph only in terms of representation of the column bars. This enables a better view of the column bars if compared to the default one. The rest of the features remain like that of 100% stacked column.
Example #4 – 100% Stacked Column
100% stacked column is slightly different from the default stacked column that the height of every column or bar is 100% by default and the legends are divided among that 100%. So, the maximum value shown by each column bar will always be 100 unlike the sum of the values of all legends in default stacked column.
As shown in the above figure, the data consists of 2 columns B and C indicating marks of Maths and Science, respectively. The chart on the right side is a 100% stacked column wherein X-axis represents the sequence of each entry such as 1, 2, 3, …, 10. The Y-axis indicates marks. There is no interval in this type of chart. The height of each legend represents the value (i.e. marks here) among 100% occupied by the bar.
Like normal stacked chart, the legends are stacked in a single column. Blue color represents column 1 i.e. Maths marks and Orange color represents column 2 i.e. Science marks.
Example #5 – 3-D 100% Stacked Column
3-D 100% stacked column is different from 100% stacked column only in terms of representation of the column bars. This enables a better view of the column bars if compared to the default one. Rest of the features remain like that of 100% stacked column.
Pros of the Stacked Column Graph
- Each column bar represents one value. So, the Stacked Column graph is useful where the entities to be measured are discrete such as Marks.
Cons of the Stacked Column Graph
- A Stacked Column may not be a good choice if the dataset is too large.
Things to Remember about the Stacked Column Graph
- The stacked column graph is based on the column bars which comprise of one or multiple legends.
- One column bar is composed of the values of all participating legends.
- One column bar represents one row from the given dataset.
- They represent discrete dataset wherein one column represents one individual entry (row) in the dataset.
You can download this Stacked Column Chart template here – Stacked Column Chart Excel Template
This has been a guide to Stacked Column Chart in Excel. Here we discuss its uses and how to create Stacked Column graph along with Excel example and downloadable templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –