Butterfly Chart

Butterfly chart is a very nice visualization technique for comparing two data series side by side. You can easily see how one series do compared to other series for a given data point in one glance.

I am going to use a sample poll data and visualize results with a butterfly chart.

Note: I first saw this chart here. link–> http://www.databison.com/butterfly-chart-excel-chart-with-dual-converging-scales/

Here is our data:

butterfly chart 1

This data is not suitable for building a butterfly chart. So we need to make some adjustments in our data structure to make it more chart friendly.

Here is our adjusted data:

butterfly chart 2

Columns E, G and I are equal to columns A, B and C as their names suggests. Columns F, H and J are formulated columns. Column H has a hard coded value (350) it is used for creating a gap between data series to place category labels. Columns F and J are used for spacing, so they are formulated as 1000-Yes value or 1000- No value as their names suggests.

Select all your arranged data and insert a 100% Stacked Bar Chart. Here is how it should look like:

butterfly chart 3

Note: Because I remember later and made the correction and all screenshots was already taken, I need to tell you to do this here. Access properties screen for vertical axis and check “Categories in Reverse Order” option. This will make categories appear from 1 to 10 instead of 10 to 1.

Now we are going to make some cleaning on the chart. Do the changes shown in picture below:

butterfly chart 4

Your chart should look like the one below at this point:

butterfly chart 5

Add labels to remaining data series. For Yes (orange) series, select position as “Inside End” and for No (yellow) series, select position as “Inside Base”. Also select Gap series which is in the middle (invisible) and add labels. Change labels for Gap series from “Value” to “Category Name”.

Here is how it should look now:

butterfly chart 6

Double-click any data series and set Gap Width to 75%. Change Yes series fill color to green and No series fill color to red. Also type an appropriate chart title (Poll Results for our example).

Your chart is ready to serve:

butterfly chart 7

You can download and inspect this chart from the link bellow.

Download Butterfly Chart

Download FAQ

You can also find similar visualizations in these posts:

Incell Chart

Centered Stacked Bar Chart

Feel free to leave a comment below for ant questions or suggestions.

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