How to create a split bar chart

Split Bars are great when you have related numbers for a range of categories. You could do one chart per category, but that would make it just more difficult to compare. The split bar chart it great to show comparison side-by-side. 

Different to one regular bar chart, a split bar chart can show more than just one value for a category. Instead of creating six separate bar charts, you can instantly present a multitude of values in one chart.

1. Preparing and importing the data

Create a new chart in Datawrapper and copy & paste your dataset. Datawrapper can work with all kinds of data, from your favorite spreadsheet programme to CSVs or just a copied & then pasted table of data.

Here is how the dataset of the chart above looks like:

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A few times a day 47 43 28 16 11 10
Once a day 14 8 7 7 4 6
A few times a week 12 7 7 8 6 10
Occasionally 14 8 13 21 12 18
I don't use it 13 34 45 48 66 56

Source:  eMarketer

  • One row header containing labels for categories
  • One column header containing labels for categories
  • All values must be of comparable measures

Make sure that each row describes one category that you have labeled in the first column. In the following cells you can see the values of each item related to its column. Be aware that all values have to be in the same format and that each row and column has a label. The split bar chart works best if you want to visualize a crosstab.

Once your dataset looks like this, upload or paste it and click continue.

2. Check & Describe

This is what the table will look like after you uploaded it. Make sure that the box "First row as lable" is ticked so that Datawrapper correctly assigns the values to the labels.

Click on "Proceed" and Datawrapper will take you to the next step.

3. Visualize

Select "Split Bars" and Datawrapper will create the chart. In the next steps, you can further customize your visualization. We cover this in a separate short tutorial found here.

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