Bar Charts

Bar charts are used to compare values across categories.

Usage

A bar chart is a chart with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent. One axis of the chart shows the specific categories being compared, and the other axis represents a discrete value.

Used for
  • Compare discrete data
  • Show trends over time
  • Change over time
  • To express larger variations in data, how individual data points relate to a whole, comparisons, and ranking

Orientation

Horizontal bars

Horizontal bars are mostly used to show Nominal/Categorical datasets. These are generally datasets which can be arranged in any order. Sorting the data can be helpful to bring attention to lowest/highest values.

Horizontal bar chart

Vertical bars

Vertical bars are mostly used to show Ordinal/Sequential datasets. These are generally datasets which follow a natural progression or order. These show the change in values w.r.t. the progression/time.

Horizontal bar chart

Type

Bar chart

It presents datasets with rectangular bars with heights or lengths proportional to the values that they represent.

Bar chart

Clustered bar chart

It presents two or more data sets displayed side-by-side and grouped together under categories on the same axis. Note: Use Line chart to compare for trend analysis between categories. Guideline

Clustered bar chart

Stacked bar chart

It presents larger category divided into smaller categories and their relations to the total.

Stacked bar chart

Histogram

It presents a grouped frequency distribution with continuous classes. It groups numeric data into bins, displaying the bins as segmented columns. They’re used to depict the distribution of a dataset: how often values fall into ranges.

Histogram

Note: Histogram only has vertical orientation.

Usage

Use single color for single data set

If all the bars measure the same variable, make them all the same color. Different shades have no relevance to the data.

Use single color for single data set

Show nominal/categorical data in ascending or descending order

Sort data sets to make it easier to understand and visualize.

Show nominal/categorical data in ascending or descending order

Make the width of each bar about twice as wide as the space between them

Width of each bar about twice as wide as the space between them


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