There are different types of bar charts that allow you to display one or more data series in a single chart. You can even use bars, lines, or a combination of both to visualize your data.
Today we want to share with you the different ways to use a bar chart in a data dashboard.
Let’s start from the beginning…
What is a bar graph?
A bar graph is a representation of the results of a statistical analysis. The graph consists of bars for each data represented. The width of these bars are the same, but the lengths vary depending on the importance of the value. These bars are usually placed on 2 axes that can be inverted depending on whether you want to make a horizontal or vertical bar chart.
What are bar graph for?
Bar graph are extremely versatile and are used for different purposes, for example:
- Compare quantities: They are ideal for comparing quantities or frequencies between different groups or categories. For example, you could use a bar chart to compare the sales of different products in your company.
- Analyze trends: Although line graphs are most common for analyzing trends over time, bar charts can also be useful for this task, especially when changes are discrete and not continuous.
- Present data: They are an excellent way to represent data, as they allow easy comparison between different groups. It is a widely used tool for making presentations because it allows you to see the data in a very visual way to facilitate capture.
Bar graph Features
The main features of bar graph are:
- Axes: Bar charts have two axes. The horizontal axis (X-axis) shows the categories being compared, while the vertical axis (Y-axis) represents the values.
- Bars: Each bar represents a quantity or frequency and its size is proportional to this.
- Spaces: There are spaces between the bars to indicate that the categories are discrete and unrelated.
- Colors: Colors can be used to distinguish between different categories or to represent subcategories within the bars.
What are the different types of bar graphs?
There are several types of bar charts:
1. Simple bar graph
It is a simple series of bars that represent the values under study , located on two axes. It can be used, for example, to show the evolution of a variable over a period of time or to compare values from different categories.
If you want to know the quantity, proportion and frequency of each category in a chart, you should choose a simple bar chart
2. Multiple Bar Chart
These are several series of groups of bars that represent a set of data located on two axes. This type of graph can be used, for example, to compare different types of variables over different years.
As we saw, a simple bar graph is an intuitive way to view values. But if you want to see data for a group of categories, the multi-bar chart is very useful.
This is another type of bar chart that is good for comparing each item in those categories and for comparing items between categories. For example, if you want to know the monthly sales of three companies, you can see a visual comparison with a bar graph.
3. Stacked Bar Chart
In this type of bar charts there are individual sections that represent sets of data stacked on top of each other. This type of graph is mainly used to compare several variables that make up a set.
The stacked bar chart indicates a part-to-part relationship between each category. Since a multiple bar chart makes it difficult to present the differences between each group’s total, stacked bar charts come into play to resolve this situation.