Good and Not So Good Ideas of chart design – Rows

December 15, 2014
Chart Polish, Design Approaches

Not A Good Idea: Displaying multiple datasets in rows is a problem as the first data set will cover the second dataset.


It’s also not a particularly good idea to add more 3D depth as a workaround. In doing so, you will loose accuracy. For example, the blue bar of Label 2 appears to be around 25 but is actually 20. The same thing with the yellow bar of Label 2 where it appears to be around 30 but is actually 25.


A Good Idea:There are two options that are better ideas of how to display two or more datasets in a Bar chart. The first is to reduce the bar width of the first bar dataset to allow the rear bars to show. This produces a look similar to a bullet chart.


An even better option would be to set the bars as Group. This way the two datasets will be placed next to each other allowing the easiest and most accurate way to read the data.


Stay tuned for more tips on design approaches! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at


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