Let's say you sell three categories of products—Desktops, Laptops and Tablets and you want to analyze the percentage contribution of each category to your overall sales. The usual way of depicting it is either through a Pie or a Stacked Bar chart.
Now let us add another dimension to our data. Suppose in each of these categories, you have three brands―Sony Vaio, Dell and HP. You have to visualize the brand-wise contribution in each category as well as the category-wise contribution to the overall sales, all in one chart. Sounds complicated?
## Try the Marimekko Chart!
A Marimekko Chart (or mekko chart) is similar to a 2D Stacked Chart. However, in addition to depicting data through varying heights (as in a regular Stacked Chart), they depict an added dimension of data through varying column widths. For the mekko chart example above, you can get the following data from a single chart:
- Contribution of Sony Vaio to the total Desktop Sales (brand-wise contribution in each category )
- Contribution of Desktop to the Overall Sales (category-wise contribution to the overall sales)
Let's add another layer of complexity to our data. Suppose you had different brands in each of the product categories. For the sake of our understanding let’s assume, you sell Desktops from Lenovo and Dell, Laptops from Dell, Sony Vaio and HP and Tablets from Samsung, iPad and HTC. How will you visualize the contribution of each in a single Marimekko Chart?
In this marimekko chart the Total Sales has been split into 3 categories―Desktops, Laptops and Tablets. Each category contribution is then split into its respective brands' contribution. The brands vary from one category to the other. Each brand is depicted by a unique color. (Note: Dell is present in both Desktop and Laptop categories but the same color is used in both the occasions.)
Where else can Marimekko charts be used?
Marimekko charts are generally used for analyzing Marketing and Sales data. However, they can be used to visualize other forms of data as well.
To Analyze Investment Opportunities:
Investors can analyze their global investment opportunities using a Marimekko chart.
Check out some more examples of the Marimekko chart here.