When it comes to representing categorical data, two commonly used chart types are “the column chart” and “the bar chart.” To break it down in the simplest way, column charts are ideal for showcasing trends over time, whereas, bar charts excel in comparing individual categories.
However, to pinpoint the ideal choice for your needs, delve into our comprehensive guide – Column Chart vs Bar Chart.
With this writing, you will get to know the distinctive features of each, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and the scenarios where one might be more suitable than the other.
By understanding the nuances of these chart types, you can enhance your ability to present data in a way that resonates with your audience and facilitates a more insightful interpretation of the information at hand.
You may use a graph maker made by FusionCharts to help you create the chart you need.
Table of Contents
The Difference Between Column Chart vs Bar ChartBoth the Bar and the Column charts display data using rectangular bars where the length of the bar is proportional to the data value. Both charts compare two or more values. However, the difference lies in their orientation. A bar chart is oriented horizontally, whereas a column chart is oriented vertically. Although alike, they cannot always be used interchangeably because of the difference in their orientation.
Figure: Bar chart
Figure: Column chart
When to Use Column Chart vs Bar Chart
Bar charts are suitable for displaying long data labels.Column charts have limited space in the category axis. So, when your data labels are long, the category axis may look cluttered.
You can reduce clutter by either slanting or rotating the labels.However, using the bar diagram will significantly improve the readability of your chart.
Bar charts are good for displaying a large number of data sets on the category axis.
The column chart is a good fit for a maximum of 10-12 data sets. However, using a column chart is not the best way forward when large numbers of data sets are needed.
A bar chart with the data sets placed one below the other would be a better choice in this case as it makes optimum use of space.
What about column charts?
Column charts are suitable for displaying data sets with negative values.In a bar graph, negative values are displayed as bars on the left.
Ready to find out more about best charting practices?
Charts hold more potential than you think. They can make the complex data representation much easier with single clicks. However, the real game is knowing the right chart for the right data. This guide plots a strong argument to have clear, concise decision-making on column chart vs bar chart.
In conclusion, while the column chart is helpful to facilitate all comparison-based analysis, it is better to use the bar chart when your data labels are long, or you have too many data sets to display. Keep watching this space for more insights on charting best practices.
Happy Charting till next time 🙂