How to make a diverging stacked bar chart in Excel

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In August 2013, I challenged my blog readers to create a diverging stacked bar chart in Excel. Check out the corresponding blog post here: http://emeryevaluation.com/2013/09/06/diverging/

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How to make a diverging stacked bar chart in Excel

  1. 1. diverging stacked bar chart in Excel by @annkemery How to make a
  2. 2. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Why make one of these…
  3. 3. …when you can make one of these? 25% 15% 8% 20% 10% 7% 25% 30% 35% 30% 45% 50% I'd recommend this program to a friend. I learned a lot in this program. This program exceeded my expectations. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree A majority of participants would recommend this program to a friend (85% strongly agreed or agreed). Three-quarters (75%) strongly agreed or agreed that they learned a lot in this program, but only half (55%) felt the program exceeded their expectations. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements. (n=100)
  4. 4. But can I make that in Excel?!
  5. 5. Yes! We’ll use 2 charts + 8 text boxes.
  6. 6. And it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
  7. 7. Step 1 Type your data into Excel.
  8. 8. Step 1 Type your data into Excel. (Heads up:The columns don’t go in order !)
  9. 9. Step 2 Select the disagree/strongly disagree data and insert a stacked bar chart.
  10. 10. Step 3 Adjust the horizontal axis so it goes to 100%. (So both charts are consistent.)
  11. 11. Step 4 Insert another stacked bar chart for the agree/strongly agree data.
  12. 12. Step 5 Now let’s make ‘em diverge! Use “Values in Reverse Order” to flip the left graph on its vertical axis.
  13. 13. That’s it! You’re done!
  14. 14. Well… kind of. Let’s clean it up.
  15. 15. Step 6 Add data labels to the ends of the bars.
  16. 16. Step 7 Let’s de-clutter! Delete the legends…
  17. 17. Step 7 Let’s de-clutter! …and delete the axis labels…
  18. 18. Step 7 Let’s de-clutter! …and delete the grid lines.
  19. 19. Step 8 Let’s give the reader much-needed contextual info. Add text boxes for the survey questions…
  20. 20. Step 8 Let’s give the reader much-needed contextual info. …and for the question choices...
  21. 21. Step 8 Let’s give the reader much-needed contextual info. …and for the caption at top.
  22. 22. Step 9 Give your chart a custom color palette. I wanted to match my university’s logo. 248:244:238 248:255:201 234:230:117 217:199:60 81:133:69 129:189:117 Logo Color Palette RGB Codes
  23. 23. Step 9 Stronger question choices (like “strongly agree”) get the stronger, darker colors.
  24. 24. Step 9 You might outline the bars in white for a crisper, cleaner look.
  25. 25. Step 10 Reduce the gap width (that gap between bars) from 150% to around 40 or 50%.
  26. 26. Step 11 Take care of last-minute touch ups. (I decided to enlarge my data labels, delete the borders, elongate the charts, & shrink that little space between them.)
  27. 27. Step 12 Finally, “group” all the items together. (This will save you tons of time later, I promise!)
  28. 28. Congrats! You’re ready to paste your single chart intoWord or PowerPoint! 25% 15% 8% 20% 10% 7% 25% 30% 35% 30% 45% 50% I'd recommend this program to a friend. I learned a lot in this program. This program exceeded my expectations. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree A majority of participants would recommend this program to a friend (85% strongly agreed or agreed). Three-quarters (75%) strongly agreed or agreed that they learned a lot in this program, but only half (55%) felt the program exceeded their expectations. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statements. (n=100)
  29. 29. Tips & techniques brought to you by Ann K. Emery Want to learn more? Want to download my Excel files? emeryevaluation.com

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