Column Chart in Power BI

Power BI Column Chart is very useful for comparing categorical data visually. For example, If we want to compare Sales by Product Group, or Color, then we can use this column chart.

For this Power BI Column Chart demonstration, we are going to use the SQL Data Source that we created in our previous article. Please refer to Connect to SQL Server article to understand the Power BI Data Source.

How to Create a Column Chart in Power BI

Drag and Drop the Sales Amount from the Fields section to Canvas automatically create a Column Chart, as shown in the below screenshot.

Bar Chart 1

Next, let me add the Color field to Axis to create a column chart that shows the Sales Amount by the product Color.

Column X and Y-Axis Values 2

Create a Column Chart Example 2

When you click on the Column Chart under the Visualization section, Power BI automatically creates a Column Chart, as shown in the below screenshot.

Column Chart in Power BI 3

To add data to the Power BI Column Chart, we have to add the required fields:

  • Axis: Please specify the Column that divides the Bars.
  • Values: Any Numeric value, such as sales amount, Total Sales, Customer count, etc.

Let me drag the Sales Amount from the Fields section to the Values field.

Add Column Y-axis Value 4

As you can see, it has created a column chart for you

Add Sales Measure to Values section 5

Next, add Product Color to the Axis field. You can do this by dragging Color to the Axis section, or Checkmark the Color column

add Color Measure to Axis 6

Power BI Column chart has one more property called Color Saturation. Let me add Order Quantity to saturate the Color from Light to dark. From the below screenshot you can see, all Product Colors apart from NA are light

Add Order quantity Measure to Color Saturation 7

It’s because the Order Quantity is high for NA color products, but the sale amount is very lower. Whereas the Sales Amount of Black color products is High, but the number of orders is very less.

Column Chart in Power BI 8

Let me do some quick formatting to this Power BI Column Chart. I suggest you refer to the Format Column Chart article to understand the steps involved in formatting Bar Colors, Data Color, Background Color, Title, Axis fonts, and colors.

Column Chart in Power BI 9

Power BI Column Chart FAQs

What is the difference between a column chart and a bar chart in Power BI?

Both the Bar and Column charts are almost similar. The only difference is the vertical and horizontal representation of values. The bar chart uses horizontal rectangular bars whose x-axis contains a measure and whose y-axis includes dimension. The column chart uses vertical tower-like rectangles whose y-axis contains measures, and the x-axis has dimensions for comparison.

How do I show a Column Chart in Power BI?

Selecting any measure or numeric value will automatically generate a column chart. Apart from format, you can choose Clustered or Stacked column chart from the Visualization section and add Sales (Measure) to Y-axis and Category dimension to X-axis.

What are the different types of Column Charts in Power BI?

Clustered Column Chart
Stacked Column Chart
100% Stacked Column Chart

How to show values on PowerBI Column Chart?

Within the Visualization pane, click on the Format your Visual tab and toggle the Data Labels property ON. In addition, you can also format the values text, size, color, background, display units, etc.

What is a Column Chart best used for?

Column Charts help compare the changes between different groups over time. It also helps to illustrate the comparison between different categories against a measure or sales.

What are the advantages of a Column Chart?

Compare the performance of different categories.
Understand the change over time.
Sales by year or profit comparison.
To view graphical or vertical column representation of whole data.

Why are Column Graphs better than line graphs?

Line graphs and column charts help compare the changes over time. However, when the changes are larger, column charts are ideal. In contrast, line graphs are suitable for smaller and more detailed changes.

Why are Power BI column charts better than tables?

Tables represent data in rows and columns, whereas column charts use vertical rectangles. As a human, it is easy to identify which tower is larger and which is shorter. Although tables provide detailed information, it is very particle to go for the column or any chart.