Bar Chart in Excel (Table of Contents)
Bar Chart in Excel
BAR CHARTS are “displaying single data series in a horizontal bar”.
Bar Chart and Column Chart are very much similar to each other. One thing different from each other is their axis labels.
The column chart shows the values in vertical (bars standing up) way and categories in horizontal (bars are flat from left to right) way. The bar chart shows the values in a horizontal way and categories in a vertical way.
BAR CHART = X-axis contains values and Y-axis contains categories.
COLUMN CHART = X-axis contains categories and Y-axis contains values.
As a business analyst, you need to present the revenue numbers to your management. You need to make a quick comparison between months to know the growth or decline.
Not only sales by region, sales by month, also we can show KPI performances, individual sales performances etc… on a bar chart.
In this article, I will take you through the process of creating Bar Charts.
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How to Create Bar Chart in Excel?
Bar Chart in Excel is very simple and easy to create. Let understand the working of Bar Chart in Excel by Some Examples.
Take a simple piece of data to present the bar graph. I have sales data for 4 different regions East, West, South, and North.
Step 1: Select the data.
Step 2: Go to insert and click on Bar chart and select the first chart.
Step 3: once you click on the chart, it will insert the chart as shown in the below image.
Step 4: Remove gridlines. Select the chart go to layout > gridlines > primary vertical gridlines > none.
Step 5: select the bar, right click on the bar, and select format data series.
Step 6: Go to fill and select Vary Colours by Point.
Step 7: Moreover we can make the bar colors look attractive by right click on each bar separately.
Right, click on the first bar > go to Fill > Gradient Fill and apply below format.
Step 8: To give the Chart Heading go to layout>Chart Title > Select Above chart.
Chart Heading will be displayed as here it is Sales by Region.
Step 9: To add Labels to the bar Right click on bar > Add Data Labels click on it.
Data Label is added to each bar.
Similarly, you can choose different colors for each bar separately. I have chosen different colors and my chart is looking like this.
There are multiple bar graphs available. In this example, I am going to use CONE type of bar chart.
I have sales data from Jan to Dec. To present the data to the management to review the sales trend I am applying bar chart to visualize and present better.
Step 1: Select the data > Go to Insert > Bar Chart > Cone Chart
Step 2: Click on the CONE chart and it will insert the basic chart for you.
Step 3: Now we need to modify the chart by changing its default settings.
Remove gridlines of above Chart.
Change the chart title as Sales by month.
Remove Legends from the chart and enlarge to make visible all months vertically.
Step 4: Select each cone separately and filled with beautiful colors. After all the modifications, my chart looks likes this.
For the same data, I have applied different bar chat types.
In this example, I am going to use a stacked bar chart. This chart tells the story for two series of data in a single bar.
Step1: Set up the data first. I have the commission data for a sales team, which has separated into two sections. One is for the first half year and another one is for the second half of the year.
Step 2: Select the data > Go to Insert > Bar > Stacked bar in 3D.
Step 3: once you click on that chat type, it will instantly create a chart for you.
Step 4: Modify each bar color by following previous example steps.
Step 5: Change the number format to adjust the spacing. Select the X-Axis and right click > Format Axis.
Step 6: Go to Number > Custom > Apply this code [>999.5]#,##0,”k”;#,##0.
This will format the lakhs into thousands. For example format the 1, 00,000 as 100K.
Step 7: Finally, my chart looks like this.
Advantages of Bar Chart in Excel
- Easy comparison with better understanding.
- Quickly find the growth or decline.
- Summarize of the table data into visuals.
- Make quick planning and take decisions.
Disadvantages of Bar Chart in Excel
- Not suitable for a large amount of data.
- Do not tell many assumptions associated with the data.
Things to Remember About Bar Chart in Excel
- Data arrangement is very important here. IF the data is not in a suitable format then we cannot apply a bar chart.
- Choose a bar chart for a small amount of data.
- Any non-numerical value ignored by the bar chart.
- Column and bar charts are similar in terms of presenting the visuals but the vertical and horizontal axis is interchanged.
You can download this Bar Chart Excel template here – Bar Chart Excel Template
This has been a guide to a BAR chart in Excel. Here we discuss its uses and how to create Bar Chart in Excel with excel examples and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –