A bar chart is one of Excel's primary chart types and a good choice for categorical data. Bar charts plot data using horizontal bars, so they are very easy to read because the human eye can easily compare bars. Also, because of the horizontal layout, bar charts have room to accommodate longer category names.
Bar charts are also versatile. They can be used to plot both nominal data and ordinal data, and they can be used instead of a pie chart to plot data with a part-to-whole relationship. If you're trying to decide on a chart type, a bar chart is a good first choice.
Very easy to read
Easy to add data labels at ends of bars
Room for longer text labels
Become cluttered with too many categories
Clustered bar charts are harder to read as data series are added
Add data labels where when it makes sense
Sort bars by largest to smallest (unless data has a natural sequence)
I first saw a link to this chart on Politico. The original chart is a clustered column chart, but I though it would be interesting to show the data in a stacked bar chart instead. Stacked bar charts make it a lot easier...
Bar charts are great for comparing things, because it's easy to see how bar lengths differ. This chart is an example of a clustered bar chart showing product units sold this year versus last year. The data used for this...
Which countries have the longest life expectancy? Bar charts work well for this kind of data because (1) the bars are easy to compare and (2) there is plenty of room for labels on the vertical axis.
Here is the data...
I was looking at an article on forbes.com about popular college degrees for women and men. They listed 9 degrees for both women and men (on many, many pages), and this chart is just a mash-up of the data they cited,...