A marketing analyst and Mekko Graphics user at a high tech company sent me a data set recently. It contained projected 2012-2016 revenue for 24 of his organization’s business segments. He asked me about putting the data into a growth-share matrix. He wanted to highlight the segments with high growth. I didn’t think a growth-share matrix was the right way to display the data. It is better used for displaying data on different competitors in the same market segment.
A Bar Mekko chart provides an excellent way to display both current revenue and future growth in a single chart. Set the bar heights to revenue growth, typically measured with compound annual growth rate, and the bar widths to current revenue. Sort with the highest growth segments on the left.
His chart provided a couple of challenges. First, since there were 24 business segments, it will be hard to see them all on a PowerPoint slide. Second some segments had 30%+ growth, most had under 10% growth a a few had negative growth. We needed to capture all this in one chart. Here is the chart I came up with (the data are disguised):
I used red to highlight the two high growth and the two negative growth segments. The chart drives home the idea that most of the current revenue will come from segments with under 5% growth. It would be a good discussion starter for reallocating resources to higher growth segments.
I only used one Excel trick to create the slide. I wanted to put the revenue with the segment name in the bar label. I used the Excel Concatenate function to create the bar name. I then moved the bar labels to the appropriate whitespace on the slide. I slanted them to make them easier to read. You can see how I did this by downloading the presentation from slideshare and opening the chart. Here is the slideshare version: