Adding Charts to a Table to Make Your Numbers Pop

Tables are great for comparing companies or divisions along a set of dimensions.  Sometimes you want to highlight significant quantitative differences in the table.  Instead of just putting the numbers in the table, try using a simple bar chart.  Here is an example that I borrowed from a McKinsey presentation for the US Ski Association:


I took the McKinsey example and implemented it using Mekko Graphics.  I created my table and used our Harvey Balls to add the checks and exes.  I then inserted a stacked bar chart and shrunk it into fit my table.  I added data, removed the Y axis, changed the axis scale and formatted the bar totals.  I then manipulated margins and chart size to get the chart to line up with the table.  I copied and pasted my first chart to create the other two.

Here is the PowerPoint slide with the table and charts.  It’s in SlideShare so that you can download it.

Here is a link to the McKinsey presentation.  I’d recommend reviewing it.  It’s rare that the work product of a consulting firm is made public.  It provides some good insights into how they work and how they structure their deliverables.