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Stacked Column Chart

Excel stacked column chart example

A stacked column chart is a basic Excel chart type to allow part-to-whole comparisons over time, or across categories. In a stacked column chart, data series are stacked one on top of the other in vertical columns.

Stacked column charts can show change over time because it's easy to compare total column lengths. However, except for the first series of data (next to the x-axis) and total bar length, it's difficult to compare the relative size of the components that make up each bar. As categories or data series are added, stacked column charts quickly become complicated.

Pros

  • Multiple categories and data series in compact space
  • Can show change over time

Cons

  • Difficult to compare all but first series
  • Become visually complex as categories or series are added

Tips

  • Limit data series and categories
  • Avoid all 3d variants