Excel Bar and Column Charts

Excel bar and column charts are commonly used for comparing numerical data across category.

It is one of the most commonly used chart types in Excel.

The main difference between Excel bar and column charts is the orientation of these chart types.

Bar charts are really good at categorical comparisons and columns charts can do exactly the same, you can also introduce trend-line on them.

Examples of data sets you can visualize with a bar and a column charts include;

  • Total sales by product type.
  • Population by country
  • Revenue by department
  • Revenue by quarter

Quick professional tip, if you are visualizing data by multiple category or multiple subcategories, for example;

  • Sales by months by locations – you need to use stacked or clustered bar or column charts.

This allows you to group by the subcategories and compare multiple metrics in a single bar or column chat.

Custom formatting can also be used to color code bars or columns dynamically based on their values, do watch out for my lessons on that.

Here is a simple data sets you can visualize with excel bar and column charts.

Data sets for excel bar and column charts

Data set above is a ticket sale by movie genre and by months and you will notice we have two categories; that’s a perfect data set for a bar and column chart.

  • Genre
  • Months

To insert a particular chart type in Excel, go to the Insert tab, under the Charts section.

Excel bar and column charts

There are basically two different ways to insert your data in a chart;

  1. Select your data range (A2:M6) then insert a chart, excel automatically display the data on the chart in the best it seems fit.
  2. Insert an empty chart and manually populate the charts by right clicking on the and Select Data to fill in your chart.

Check out: How to customize charts and graphs in Excel

Excel 2D column chart

Excel file: Become_a_Data_viz_expert

Watch the video below and learn how to populate your charts with the two-method explained above. Thanks, sharing is caring.