How to create a grouped column chart

The grouped column chart presents quantitative values for categories and additional categorical dimensions. This is ideal if you want to give a quick overview of something as you would do with a bar chart or column chart but add more information with the help of additional columns. In essence you provide more information in one chart, ideally by visualizing a certain pattern.

This tutorial will show you how to prepare your data to create a grouped bar chart.

1. Preparing and importing data

This is how your data set should be formatted:

  • One header row containing labels
  • The first column is a major category
  • Two other columns are categorical dimensions containing values of comparable measures

When you look at the chart above, you see that you will need one major category - in this case: years - and two categorical dimensions - revenue and net profit per year. Two categorical dimensions will then describe each category.

Year Revenue in mm. € Net Profit in mm. €
1998 282 0
1999 133 -66
2000 428 94
2001 490 42
2002 694 -2
2003 575 114
2004 647 138
2005 663 162
2006 749 249
2007 882 49
2008 957 184
2009 1059 196
2010 1291 202
2011 1070 36
2012 1166 89
2013 1386 72
2014 2096 141

Source:  FIFA

The values in your table determine the height of the bars. Notice that you can also have negative values. Datawrapper will automatically scale the chart accordingly. Once your dataset looks like this you can copy or upload it into Datawrapper.

2. Check & Describe

You will see that your dataset won't look like this in Datawrapper as the x and y-axis are switched in the original dataset. You get the data in this form by clicking on "Transpose data table" in the upper left corner. You could also do this in your spreadsheet programme. Make sure that the the box  "First row as label" 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

Once you're in the "Visualize" tab, choose " Grouped Column Chart" and Datawrapper will create a first iteration of your data. Continue with the steps refineannotate, and design to finish your chart. We cover this in a separate short tutorial found here.

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