Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio

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Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio

One of the most challenging parts of creating a dashboard or report is finding the appropriate chart to convey your story.

Perhaps you want to display change in a metric over time—a time series would be helpful to show the fluctuations and trends. A snapshot in time? Consider a scorecard that displays a static metric. Or maybe you wish to easily compare metrics to one another—bar charts do a great job of this!

But what about when you need to compare categories of data? Democrat vs. Republican, Males vs. Females, or Satisfaction categories of data? While grouped bar charts may seem like an obvious choice, diverging bar charts are a great alternative, as they make trends more clear.

Here is how you can create a diverging bar chart in Google Data Studio:

Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio

  1. Once connected to your data source, create a new bar chart for the data you wish to have on the right-of-center side of your diverging bar chart.
    1. Add both dimensions to the chart that you wish to see data for. Ensure the first dimension is the grouping of how you want to see your data.
      In the example below, we are looking at 2017 TTC Customer Satisfaction by Age. For this chart, we have added Age as the first dimension, and Response Percentage as the second.
    2. In the Data tab, create and add a filter to the chart to ensure the appropriate right-of-center data shows. You may need to use a Regular Expression to do so!
      In the example below, we have filtered the right side to show the survey responses with positive sentiment.
    3. In the Data tab, adjust the Sort to ensure the data displays as you wish.
    4. In the Style tab, change the bar chart type to horizontal.
    5. In the Style tab, select Stacked Bars
    6.  In the Style tab, deselect Show Axes
    7. In the Style tab, scroll down and hide the legend.
    8. Colours may also be adjusted, as necessary, in the Style tab.
  2. Copy and paste the bar chart you have just created. We will now create the left-of-center chart:
    1. In the Data tab, create and add a new filter to the chart to show the left-of-center data only. In our example, this will be the data with negative sentiment.
    2.  In the Style tab, select Reverse X-axis direction.
    3. Adjust the colours in the Style tab as necessary
  3. Line up the charts, and add any axes labels as necessary.
    Note that you can move charts pixel-by-pixel in Data Studio by holding SHIFT while using the arrow keys. This will allow you to have the charts closer together, as we have below.

Use this tutorial to create something? Tweet us, or let us know in the comments below!

Complete list of posts in our 2018 edition 12 Days of Data Studio series:
1. ClickInsight Data Viz Gallery
2. Comparing Multiple GA Segments on a Chart in Data Studio
3. Exporting to PDF from Data Studio
4. Using Bookmarks Links in Data Studio
5. Keyboard Shortcuts for Data Studio
6. Creating Heat Maps in Google Data Studio
7. Using Charts as Interactive Filters in Data Studio
8. Creating Diverging Bar Charts in Data Studio (this post)
9. Creating Thumbnail Images of Data Studio Reports
10. Embedding URLs in Data Studio
11. Open Source Community Connectors for Data Studio
12. Create Custom Charts with Data Studio Community Visualizations

By |2019-05-17T11:55:17-04:00December 12th, 2018|2 Comments
Categories: Data Studio


  1. John November 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Is there’s a video tutorial of this for better understanding?

    • Marc Soares November 20, 2019 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      Sorry, we don’t have a video tutorial available. Let us know if there are any specific steps that we can clarify.

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