How to set up a bar chart on Google Data Studio?

How to set up a bar chart on Google Data Studio?

If you're creating a Google Data Studio dashboard, chances are you will have to use a bar chart or many others. And if you don't have a Google Data Studio account, you can check this tutorial to create one free!

This post will show you how to do just that with some examples of Bar Charts in Google Data Studio.

A bar chart uses horizontal or vertical bars to show comparisons among categories. The bigger the value represented by a longer bar, the more extensive it is. The comparison categories are shown on one axis, while the discrete value is shown on the other.

Here are 2 bar charts from the Google Analytics data source. The base dimension for both charts is Medium:

  • The left-hand chart uses stacked bars to show several metrics (Sessions, Users, and Exits) for medium.
  • The right-hand chart uses a second dimension, Country ISO Code, to breakdown each medium

How to add a column or bar chart?

Select a bar chart from the "Bars" section by clicking on the "Add a chart" button on the toolbar.

You can observe an example scenario below. Please note changing the dimension and metrics as well.


Chart Settings

The properties panel on the right of the chart can be used to adjust the chart choices after clicking on the chart.

Data Tab

This tab shows settings related to the data source.

  • Data source: A data source lets you to connect to the data set you want to use. Data source options are: change the data source, view/edit the data source, add a blended data source. More on data source connections is here.
  • Dimension: Dimensions are categories for your data, and dimension values are a name, description or other characteristic of a category. You can choose dimensions either directly from the available fields or by clicking the "Add Dimension" link. Dimensions may differ according to cart types. For example geo charts's dimensions will be only locations.
  • Drill down: If the chart supports it, this option is shown. Drilling down allows users to access further levels of information. It becomes easier to observe the tiniest of details when you turn on Drill down. Here is an example how drill down works;
  • Breakdown dimension: Using a chart's Breakdown dimension, you can examine the breakdown of data by a certain axis. Here is an example; Age is the main dimension and gender is the breakdown dimension.
  • Metric: Metrics are used to measure the contents of dimensions and provide the chart with a numeric scale and data series. Drag fields from the Available Fields tab on the right onto the chart to add measurements. You can also click Add metric in the Data tab.
  • Optional metrics allows you to select more than 1 metric and viewer will able to change them.
  • Metric Slider gives the viewer an option to filter desired metric value to view. For example, you can limit the chart to only show Average Orders where the total value is between $100 and $200. (not all charts offer this option)

💡 At least 1 metric is required. You can have up to 20 metrics in a single-dimensional graphic. One metric can be used for charts with two dimensions.

  • Setting the default sort: The Sort and Secondary sort options control the default sorting behaviour. You can select any metric in the chart's data source, or any dimension currently displayed in the chart, to use as the primary or secondary sorting field. The Secondary sort option only appears when there is an appropriate combination of dimensions and metrics in the chart.
  • Filter: Filter help filter the raw data which is coming from the data source. It might be helpful when you want to include specific values or exclude some. For example, you might want to exclude ad campaigns with zero impressions.
  • Google Analytics segment: This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source. A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Data Studio charts to help ensure that your Data Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data.
  • Interactions : An interaction on a chart is similar to a filter control when enabled. Here is an example, on this dashboard, campaign table has the interactions option activated. So viewer can click on any row and top metrics represent metrics of this selected row.

Style tab

A chart's style properties control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.

Bar Chart: This section controls the overall appearance and layout of your chart. depending on the type of the bar chart, you might see different options from below.

  • Vertical: Displays the data series as vertical bars.
  • Horizontal: Displays the data series as horizontal bars.
  • Bars: Determines the number of data series shown in the chart. If the number of series selected is less than the number of series in your data, only the top N series will be shown (where N equals the number of series you've selected).
  • Series: Determines the number of secondary dimension series shown in the chart. If the number of series selected is less than the number of series in your data, only the top N series will be shown (where N equals the number of series you've selected).
  • Stacked Bars: When checked, the chart displays stacked bars. Otherwise, the chart displays grouped bars.
  • 100% Stacking: When checked, stacked charts show the contribution of each data series to 100% of the total value.
  • Show Data Labels: When checked, displays the value for each series in the chart.
  • Compact Numbers: To display the following choice, toggle on Show data labels: The unit indicator is displayed after the numbers are rounded. E.g., 553.939 becomes 553.9K.

Reference lines: This lets you compare your data to reference data. For example, you can use reference lines to visualize daily sales against a target sales figure.

Color by: Here you can change color settings.

Axes: In this section, you can change the axis titles and scales that appear on the chart axises itself. When your chart has more than one measure, a right Y-axis segment will show.

  • Show axes: Makes chart axes visible or hidden.
  • Reverse Y-Axis direction: This option controls the vertical presentation of the Y-axis in a reverse way.
  • Reverse X-Axis direction: To control horizontal display, use the Reverse X-Axis Direction option.
  • Show axis title: The axis labels can be shown or hidden.
  • Axis min and max: Set the Y-axes' minimum and maximum values using the axis min and max options.
  • Custom tick interval: The interval between axis ticks can be set to a custom value.
  • Log scale: The Y-axis scale is transformed into a logarithmic one.

Grid: The chart grid's appearance can be customized using the Grid settings.

  • Axis color: Specifies the color of the x-axis line.
  • Grid color: Specifies the color of the grid lines.
  • Chart background: Specifies the color of the chart background.
  • Chart border colour: Specifies the color of the inner chart border.

Background and border: The chart's background container can be customized using the background and border settings.

  • Background: Changes the chart background colour.
  • Border Radius: The chart's backdrop will have rounded edges if you use the Border Radius setting. The background form has 90-degree corners when the radius is zero. In order to create a circular shape, a boundary radius of 100° is needed.
  • Opacity: Sets the transparency of the chart. Objects behind the chart are entirely obscured by 100% opacity. The chart is invisible when the opacity is set to 0%.
  • Border Color: Changes the chart border colour.
  • Border Weight: Specifies the chart border line thickness.
  • Border Style: Specifies the chart borderline style.
  • Add border shadow: Adds a shadow to the chart lower and right borders.

Chart Header: Viewers can take a variety of activities on the chart, including exporting the data, diving down or going to the Explorer tool. You can choose a show on hover - which is the default, always show and do not show.