100% Stacked Bar Chart to track sales by product line and channel over time. 

Which Chart Should I Use to Track Revenue by Product Line and Channel?

A Mekko Graphics user sent us a question.  She wanted to know which chart to use to track sales by product line and channel over time.  In her example, there were two channels–direct and indirect–and three product lines.  I gave her two alternatives.  She could use a single 100% stacked bar chart.  It would look like this:

100% Stacked Bar Chart to track sales by product line and channel over time. 

100% Stacked Bar Chart to track sales by product line and channel over time.

 

I used colors to make it easier to identify the two channels and added a legend to reinforce this.  With some additional Excel magic you can make the segment values show as  percent of channel instead of per cent of total sales.  If you’re interested in this, I can put it in another post.

The second option is to provide a four chart slide.  The slides would be:

  • a 100% stacked bar that shows sales by channel over time.  This will give you a sense of whether direct or indirect is growing overall in relative importance.
  • two  100% stacked bar charts for the direct and indirect channels that each breaks out sales by product line over time.  This will show how much each product line is growing in importance within the channel.
  • a Marimekko chart that has a bar for each channel and series for each product line.  The data would be sales for the most recent year.  This provides a snapshot of current sales by channel and product line.

I thought our user asked a great question.  I hope this helps her and anyone else interested in tracking sales by channel and product line.