Viz of the Day – Good Old Bar Chart

This is basically the king of charts because it covers so many data data visualization needs.  I will cover the basics and include vertical and horizontal but let’s leave stacked out of this summary.  

Bar is best when comparing various categories of data; one axis of the chart shows the categories being compared while the other represents the metric. One of the reasons it is so great is because it is really simple to understand relative differences between categories.  In my sample order data you can easily tell that West is selling the most and overall Toys are moving more than any other category (by almost double).  When you sort the bars these relationships really stand out!

This chart type also works great in a trellis and works well when you want to group multiple categories in one chart.  In my example below I choose color to represent category and we can now see that the West is the region driving a large portion of these Toy sales.  This can also be seen in the trellis and further more changes across years can be seen.  In the 2 chart example above we could not have come to the same conclusion.

When on your mobile device, and in this case with Oracle Analytics – Day by Day, you will see bar charts come up fairly often.  Users can change the chart type easily but when searching for data on your device we find that many times the results can we well represented in a bar.  For dense bars we allow smooth zooming and scrolling along with mini-maps.

At some point down the road I will go over pie charts but often times you will find switching any pie chart to a bar chart makes for better representation of data visually.

Don’t take it from me when you can read more about the wonders of bar charts here –  If you want to learn more and play with Oracle Analytics check out this free course on Udemy –


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