What is a Stacked Column chart and when would you use one? Read on…

Last week I came across [an article](https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68713522) on the BBC sports website about soccer finances. It was called “Premier League clubs’ £1bn of losses in 11 charts”.

As I looked through it, not just as a football fan, but as someone who has an interest in data visualization, it struck me that, for many people, especially Excel newbies, a chart is a chart is a chart.

However, when you create a chart from a set of data, you do actually need to think carefully about the best type of chart to use for that data. In fact, the primary driver as to what type of chart to create should really be based on the purpose of the chart.

Take the data below. It’s fictitious but based on the data in the BBC article (a list of fictitious soccer teams together with the total revenue, broken down by matchday, commercial and broadcast)

Many people, when faced with 3 columns of data and a list of items revert to type and create a standard column chart (or Clustered Column Chart as Microsoft call it)

There’s nothing wrong with a Clustered Column Chart but in my opinion, with the columns next to each other the chart looks cramped. Also there’s not enough room to clearly display the values, or data labels, as Excel calls them. These are the numbers that you can see on each column.

But that’s just aesthetics.

Let’s imagine that the instruction that I was given by the fictitious boss or client was to create a chart that displayed, for each football club, the total revenue, broken down by revenue type (matchday, commercial and broadcast).

In this situation a Stacked Column chart would be more appropriate. Here you can see not only the total revenue per club but within each club’s total you can see exactly how it’s broken down

So how do you create a Stacked Column chart? Watch the video to find out:

You can download a copy of the file I used in the video by clicking through to YouTube. The link for the file is in the YouTube description.