Horizontal bar chart comparing the cost of a Starbucks latte by city

Cost of a Starbucks Latte Around the World

Starbucks' tall lattes vary from a high of $5.76 in Zurich to a low of $1.53 in Cairo, according to the Wall Street Journal.  This price survey allows them to compare the purchasing power of different currencies to the US dollar and to each other. A latte in Zurich is 67% more expensive than the $3.45 latte in New York and, in Cairo, a latte is 56% cheaper.

Horizontal Stacked Bar Chart

Horizontal stacked bar chart comparing cost of a Starbucks tall latte by city

How I Created This Stacked Bar Chart

I started by re-entering the cost of lattes in the 28 cities into Excel because the data was not available in a format that made it easy to copy and paste.  I added a column to my spreadsheet in which I calculated the percentage above or below the cost in New York.  I then created a horizontal stacked bar chart in PowerPoint with the Excel data.  I used the switch bars and series button as my bars were entered as rows instead of columns.

I also made the percentage column a data row so that it appeared on the right of the chart.  Then, I added a second data column with either a ▲ or a ▼.  I found these symbols in the Character Map application.

By modifying the chart margins and axis scale, the chart fit better into its container.  For a cleaner look, I hid the axes on the chart.  I moved the bar labels to the left and then moved the data rows to appear between the bar labels and the bars.

Next I worked on chart colors.  I changed the font colors of the data rows so that those more expensive than NY were in red and those less expensive in green.  I added columns to the data sheet for each region and entered a very small value for this column in one city.  This allowed the names of the region to appear in the chart legend.  I used the Bars and Series dialog to set the colors for each bar based on its region.  I then modified the color for the series that corresponded to the region.  Finally, I changed the legend to appear in the lower right and show only the regions, using the Format Legend dialog.

Take This Chart and Make it Your Own

Download this stacked bar chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics.

To learn more about how to make better bar charts, watch this video.