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The Problem with Stacked Bar Graphs

Rita Fainshtein looks at a stacked bar graph:

Let’s look at what motivated our choice and whether it is indeed a graph that will convey accurate messages to those who read it.

Here are some reasons why this type of visualization is preferred:

1. The graph on the right is one of the “recommended” graphs provided by tools (both Excel and Power bi).

2. It seems logical: there is a height comparison between case managers, clear separation between client types and the graph looks colorful and appealing.

But behind this, there are some major problems with the visual. Read on to learn what those are and for one alternative visual which can be better.