Create and use a bar chart

A bar chart is created by displaying a string field on the y-axis and a count, number field, or rate/ratio field on the x-axis. The length of each bar represents the value of each category.

Bar charts can answer questions about your data, such as: How are numeric values distributed or summarized by category? How is your data ranked?


An insurance company is reviewing the types of policies it offers to compare to the findings from a recently completed market research project. The first step in the review is to determine the total value of policies in each policy class. You can use a bar chart to visualize the sum of total insured values (TIV) for each policy class.

Bar chart showing TIV by Policy Class

The bar chart above provides a sum of the TIV for each category of insurance policy: disability, automobile, life, and property. When the chart is sorted in ascending order, you can see the highest and lowest values.

The insurance company is especially interested in expanding its business in five cities of interest. The Subgroup field can be used to compare the TIV for each policy class across cities.

Grouped bar chart showing total insured value by policy class for cities of interest

The grouped bar chart above shows the distribution of subgroups for each category. The Policy Class values (property, life, disability, and automobile) have subgroups that show a different colored bar for each city that's included in the card filter.

Create a bar chart

To create a bar chart, complete the following steps:

  1. Select one of the following data options:
    • One or two string fields String field
    • One or two string fields String field plus a number Number field or rate/ratio field Rate/ratio field

    If you do not select a number or rate/ratio field, your data will be aggregated and a count will be displayed.

    You can search for fields using the search bar in the data pane.

  2. Create the bar chart using the following steps:
    1. Drag the selected fields to a new card.
    2. Hover over the Chart drop zone.
    3. Drop the selected fields on Bar Chart.

You can also create charts using the Chart menu above the data pane or the Visualization type button Visualization type on an existing card. For the Chart menu, only charts that are compatible with your data selection will be enabled. For the Visualization type menu, only compatible visualizations (including maps, charts, or tables) will be displayed.

Usage notes

The Legend button Legend opens the Layer options pane. The Layer options pane contains the following functions:

  • The Legend tab Legend is used to view the symbols on the chart. The pop out legend button Pop out legend displays the legend as a separate card on your page. You can use the legend to make selections on the chart when a subgroup is applied. To change the color associated with a value, click the symbol and choose a color from the palette or enter a hex value.
  • The Options tab Options is used to change the Symbol Type to Unique symbol. The Options tab is not available if the chart has a subgroup field specified.
  • The Style tab Style is used to change the symbol color (single symbol only), change the outline color on the chart, or turn labels on or off. Labels display the number values associated with the chart and can be configured based on the position, orientation, and number of decimal places. You can choose a number of decimal places from zero to five, or choose Default or Auto for the labels. Default will abbreviate large numbers, while Auto will choose an appropriate precision.

You can symbolize the value of each bar as a count of features in each category on the y-axis or as a number or rate/ratio field. If you use a field, the bar values can be calculated as a sum, minimum, maximum, average, percentile, or median of values from the field for each category.


Median and percentile are not available for certain remote feature layers. If your remote feature layer does not support median or percentile, you can copy the layer to your workbook.

You can optionally select the Subgroup field on the y-axis. The Subgroup field must be a string field and is used to divide each category on the y-axis into subcategories.


You can style related maps with the same field you used to group your bar chart. When you interact with the chart or map, you can see simultaneous categorical and spatial patterns.

Use the Chart statistics button Chart statistics to display the mean, median, upper quartile, lower quartile, or a custom value.

Use the Sort button Sort to sort the categorical data either ascending or descending by the numeric variable, or alphabetically.

Use the Visualization type button Visualization type to switch directly between a bar chart and other visualizations, such as a summary table, bubble chart, or line graph.

When you create a bar chart, a result dataset Results with the string and number fields used to create the chart is added to the data pane. You can use the result dataset to find answers with nonspatial analysis using the Action button Action.