Power BI Column Chart – Complete tutorial

In this Power BI Tutorial, we will learn about the Power BI Column chart. And, also we will discuss the below topics:

  • Various column charts available on Microsoft Power BI
  • How to create a column chart on Power BI
  • Power BI Column chart width
  • Power BI Column chart sort
  • Power BI Column chart conditional formatting
  • Power BI Column chart multiple values
  • Power BI Column chart spacing
  • Power BI Column chart with variance
  • Power BI Column chart target line

Power BI Column Chart

Power BI Column charts are one of the most widely used to visualize the data. A column chart uses vertical bars to represent the comparison between categories or things. Column charts are effective for emphasizing the difference between values. They show the changes over time.

Various column charts available on Microsoft Power BI

Column charts can be created in 3 different types as Stacked Column chart, Clustered Column chart, 100% Stacked Column chart. Each of them represents the same data in a different way. The process of creating these chart are same, regardless of the output.

  • Stacked Column chart: A Stacked Column Chart is used to show the data in vertical bars, divided into subparts. The items are stacked on top of one another differentiated by colors. It can show changes over time because it’s easy to compare total column lengths. But as categories or data series are added, stacked column charts quickly become complicated.
  • Clustered Column chart: A Clustered Column Chart displays more than one data series in clustered vertically series. A clustered Column Chart is sometimes called a bar graph because it displays the data organized in pillar or bars shape. It works best when the data points are limited.
  • 100% Stacked Column chart: A 100% Stacked Column Chart displays the relative percentage of multiple series in a stacked column, where the total of a Stacked Column is equal to 100%. It is a good way to show some categories of a whole changing over time.

Here is an example of a Stacked Column chart, Clustered Column chart, 100% Stacked Column chart:

Power BI Column Chart Example
Power BI Column Chart Example

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How to create a column chart on Power BI

Now we will see how to create a Column chart on Power BI. There are steps by steps guides by which we can create a column chart on Power BI. For example, we will create a Power BI Clustered column chart.

Step-1:

For creating a Clustered Column Chart, we have to prepare excel data or we can download it from the browser. Here we are using sample data, which downloaded from the browser.

Step-2:

Open Power BI Desktop > Get Data > More… > All/File > Excel > Connect.

Power BI Column Chart
Power BI Column Chart

Step-3:

Then select the excel data > Open. It will redirect a navigator page. On the Navigator page, navigate the excel data, select Load.

Step-4:

On the Report page, select Clustered column chart from Visualizations. Create visualization by taking these data fields:

  • Axis: Product (It represents the vertical axis)
  • Legends: Country(It represents the vertical bars differentiated into colors)
  • Values: Units sold(Any numeric value. ex- sales amount, total, units, etc.)
 How to create Power BI Column Chart
How to create Power BI Column Chart

Like, Clustered column chart we can create Stacked column chart and 100% stacked column chart.

Read: Power BI Pie Chart

Power BI Column chart width

It is showing “On Power BI there is no method that could be used to change the width of column“, this is not an actual solution. But we can resize the whole chart make it wider. By following these easy steps we can adjust the width of a column chart.

For example, here we are using a clustered column chart, that previously created.

Select the column chart > go to Format pane > X-axis(turn ON) > Inner padding

power bi column chart width
power bi column chart width

If we will reduce the Inner padding then it will adjust the width of the column. Lets see the below example:

power bi column chart width
power bi column chart width

This is how we can resize the power bi column chart width.

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Power BI Column chart sort

Here we will see how to sort a Power BI Column chart. Let’s take an example of a Stacked column chart.

power bi column chart sort
power bi column chart sort

On Power BI Column chart, it allows to sort the Axis and Values data fields. so we can sort the visual by Product and Unit Sold.

Then, select the Visual > More option(…) > sort by > Unit sold

power bi column chart sort
power bi column chart sort

On above chart, we can see a yellow indicator is there(Left side of sort ascending and Units sold), that indicates that the chart is sorted by the selected options, i.e. the above is sorted by Units sold as ascending order.

Similarly, if we sorted the chart by Product, then it will visualize as sort by product(alphabetically) as ascending or descending. Have a look on below example.

Sorting in Power BI Column chart
power bi column chart sort

We can see the product is alphabetically sorted as descending order.

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Power BI Column chart conditional formatting

On Power BI Column chart, we can do conditional formatting on Data colors by following these steps:

Step-1:

Create a column chart on Power BI. For example, here we create a Clustered column chart having fields:

  • Axis: Country
  • Values: Gross Sells
power bi column chart conditional formatting
power bi column chart conditional formatting

Step-2:

Go to Format pane > Data colors > Click on Conditional Formatting Function(fx).

power bi column chart conditional formatting
power bi column chart conditional formatting function

Step-3:

Then it will redirect a page, where we can apply conditional formatting to the visual. There are 3 types of formats as Color scale, Rules, Field value. Let’s do format by Color scale.

power bi column chart conditional formatting
power bi column chart conditional formatting

Here we can set the Lowest Value or Custom value and its respective colors from the Color chart in this format. Like Minimum, we can apply conditions on Center and Maximum. Then click OK.

column chart conditional formatting on power BI
column chart conditional formatting on power BI

We can see the conditional format is being applied on the Column chart. Also, we can remove the format by selecting the Revert to default.

This is how to do conditional formatting on Power BI column chart.

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Power BI Column chart multiple values

In the Power BI Column chart, we can show the multiple values on a single chart. Follow these steps to implementing this:

Step-1:

On the report page, add a column chart(i.e. Clustered column chart). Now we will create a visual, that will represent the whole data on Product with its Gross Sale, Profit, COGS, Sales, etc.

Step-2:

In Axis we will add Product and in Value field, we will add multiple values like below:

power bi column chart multiple values
power bi column chart multiple values

Then the chart will be look like this:

conditional formatting in Power BI Column chart
power bi column chart multiple values

On the above chart, we can see that each product having multiple values like Gross Sales, Profit, COGS, Sales which are identified into different colors.

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Power BI Column chart spacing

On Power BI Column chart we can customize the spacing by following these easy steps:

Step-1:

Create a column chart on Power BI. For example, we will create a Clustered column chart, that shows the data Sales by Product.

power bi column chart spacing
power bi column chart spacing

Step-2:

Go to Format pane > X-axis > Inner Padding.

power bi column chart spacing
power bi column chart spacing

If we reduce the percentage of the Inner Padding, then it will resize the width and space between the bars on the Column chart like this:

Spacing in Power BI Column chart
Power BI Column chart Spacing

If we increase the percentage of Inner padding, then the visual will represent having spaces between each bars.

In this way we can adjust the width and spacing the column chart.

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Power BI Column chart with variance

Variance is a statistical measurement of the spread between numbers in a data set. In Power BI we can evaluate variance by following these easy steps:

Step-1:

Create a 100% Stacked column chart on Power BI. In this example, we create a Clustered column chart, which shows the data as Sales by Product and Country and the fields we have taken here:

  • Axis: Product
  • Legend: Country
  • Value: Sales
power bi column chart with variance
power bi column chart with variance

Step-2:

Select the dropdown of the Sales(on Values field). Then Click on Variance.

power bi column chart with variance
power bi column chart with variance

We can see the difference after applying variance. The Chart will look like this:

power bi column chart with variance
power bi column chart with variance

The above chart shows the variance of sales data having different color stacks(country). In this way, we can easily visualize the variance of a chart.

Power BI Column chart with the target line

A constant line or target line is a straight line that extends over the entire chart and indicates an axis value. Target lines are always perpendicular to the axis to which they belong. It’s like a hidden little gems on Power BI.

We can set a target line on Power BI by following these easy steps.

Step-1:

Create a column chart. For example, here we create a Stacked column chart that shows the data Profit by Product.

Step-2:

Select the chart. Go to Analytics pane. Expand the Constant line.

power bi column chart with target line
power bi column chart with target line

Step-3:

Click on +Add. Rename it as Target line. Choose a Color from the color chart to identify the Target line. Then set a target value.

power bi column chart with target line
power bi column chart with target line

This is how we can set Target line on Power BI Column chart.

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Conclusion

From this Power BI column chart tutorial, we learnt and discussed about:

  • Different types of column charts available on Microsoft Power BI?
  • How to create a column chart on Power BI?
  • What is Power BI Column chart width?
  • How to sort the Power BI Column chart?
  • How do conditional formatting on a column chart?
  • How to show multiple values on a Column chart?
  • What is variance and target line on Power BI Column chart?
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