How to use Stacked Column Chart in Excel

The stacked chart is good for visualizing data as part of the whole. They are the same as a stacked bar charts with the only differences of orientation. The stacked bar chart is oriented horizontally, and the stacked column chart is oriented vertically.
When you have a small number of categories to show, a stacked column chart can be used for effective comparison of data. But when the number of categories increases stacked column chart gets complicated to read.

There are two types of stacked column charts. Let’s explore them one by one.

1. Excel Stacked Column Chart

This is good for number comparison.

The stacked column chart is best for comparing data within the group. You can also use it compare with all groups. Like you can compare one group with others.  But you cant compare the part of a group to another group. Let’s see how.


Here I have this data of drink consumption in different cities of the world (this is just for example and numbers do not refer to any actual survey).

Now to plot a stacked chart in excel 2016, follow these steps:

    1. Select data.
    2. Go to the insert tab--> charts--> 2D charts--> Stacked column chart. Click on it.

  1. You have your stacked chart.

Now we can see that the total consumption of drinks is the largest in London. We can easily compare the consumption of the individual drink in London. But if we want to compare the individual drink consumption of each drink with other groups, it gets hard. It would be better if we had a 100% chart.

2. Excel 100% Stacked Column Chart

To compare percentages with other groups, we use a 100% stacked chart. This can not be used to compare the whole group's data with others but it can be used to compare parts of groups to other groups.


To plot a 100% stacked column chart in excel, follow these steps.

    1. Select data.
    2. Go to the insert tab? charts? 2D charts? 100 %Stacked column chart. Click on it.

    1. The 100% stacked chart is ready.

Now we can see that the total consumption of drinks as 100% and all the columns are equal but the parts are representing the percentage of each drink in the group. We can easily compare the consumption of the individual drink with other groups and tell which type of drink is more or less consumed in which city. 
So yeah guys, this how you plot the stacked column chart in excel. You can check out some creative charts mentioned below. If you have any doubts regarding this article or any other excel related topic, do let me know in the comments section below.

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