Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Marimekko Chart In Excel


If you're looking to add a visually impactful element to your Excel reports, a Marimekko chart might be just the tool you need. This unique type of chart, also known as a mosaic plot or mekko chart, allows you to visualize categorical data in two dimensions. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create a Marimekko chart in Excel and explore the importance of using this type of chart to effectively communicate your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Marimekko charts, also known as mosaic plots or mekko charts, are visually impactful tools for visualizing categorical data in two dimensions.
  • Using Marimekko charts in Excel can help effectively communicate data in reports and presentations.
  • Identifying and formatting the data correctly in Excel is crucial for creating a Marimekko chart.
  • Customizing the chart, adding data labels, and adjusting colors and styles are important steps in creating a Marimekko chart.
  • Marimekko charts in Excel can be a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization.

Understanding the data

Before creating a marimekko chart in Excel, you need to understand the data that is required and how it should be formatted. This will help ensure that the chart is accurate and meaningful.

A. Identifying the data needed for the chart
  • Start by identifying the categories and subcategories that you want to represent on the chart.
  • Consider the values that will be used to measure each category and subcategory.
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary data available and organized before proceeding.

B. Formatting the data in Excel for the chart
  • Open Excel and enter your data into a spreadsheet. Each category and subcategory should be in separate columns, and the corresponding values should be in the adjacent columns.
  • Ensure that your data is properly formatted, with no merged cells or empty rows or columns.
  • Use clear and concise labels for your data to make it easier to create the chart.

Creating a stacked bar chart

One of the useful tools in Excel for visualizing data is the stacked bar chart. It allows you to represent multiple data series in a single bar, showing the total and the proportions of each category. Here's how you can create a stacked bar chart in Excel:

A. Selecting the data for the chart
  • The first step in creating a stacked bar chart is to select the data that you want to include in the chart. The data should be organized in such a way that each category is represented by a separate column, and the values for each category are displayed in the corresponding rows.

  • For example, if you want to create a stacked bar chart showing the distribution of sales by product category over time, you would organize your data with one column for each product category and one row for each time period.

B. Inserting a stacked bar chart in Excel
  • Once you have selected the data, you can insert a stacked bar chart by clicking on the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon and selecting "Bar Chart" from the Charts group. Then, choose the "Stacked Bar" chart type from the available options.

  • After selecting the chart type, click on the specific chart subtype that best represents your data. This will insert the stacked bar chart into your Excel worksheet, displaying your selected data in a visually appealing way.

C. Customizing the chart to fit the data
  • Once the stacked bar chart is inserted, you can customize it to fit your specific data and design preferences. For example, you can add chart titles, axis labels, and data labels to provide context and clarity to the chart.

  • You can also adjust the colors, borders, and other visual elements of the chart to make it more visually appealing and easier to interpret. Excel offers a range of customization options that allow you to create a stacked bar chart that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Adding Data Labels

When creating a marimekko chart in Excel, adding data labels is an essential step to help your audience understand the data more easily. Data labels provide specific information about the data points, such as the exact values or percentages. Here's how to add and format data labels for your marimekko chart:

A. Adding Data Labels to the Chart

  • Start by selecting your marimekko chart in Excel.
  • Go to the "Chart Tools" section on the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on the "Add Chart Element" button.
  • Choose "Data Labels" from the dropdown menu.
  • Your marimekko chart will now display data labels for each data point.

B. Formatting the Data Labels for Clarity

Once you have added data labels to your marimekko chart, it's important to format them for clarity and visual appeal.

  • Positioning: You can adjust the position of the data labels to better fit your chart. Excel offers options to position the labels inside, outside, or at the center of the data points.
  • Font and Size: Customize the font style, size, and color of the data labels to make them more readable and visually appealing.
  • Number Format: Depending on your data, you may need to format the numbers in the data labels to display as currency, percentages, or with a specific number of decimal places.
  • Data Label Options: Excel provides various options to show additional information in the data labels, such as category name, value, or percentage.
  • Label Alignment: You can align the data labels horizontally or vertically to optimize the readability of the chart.

By adding and formatting data labels in your marimekko chart, you can enhance the clarity and understanding of your data, making it easier for your audience to interpret and analyze the information presented.

Turning the stacked bar chart into a marimekko chart

Marimekko charts, also known as mosaic or matrix charts, are a great way to visualize categorical data in Excel. If you have a stacked bar chart and want to transform it into a marimekko chart, here's how you can do it:

Adjusting the chart to display as a marimekko chart

  • Selecting the data: Start by selecting the data you want to use for the marimekko chart. This should include the categories and values you want to represent.
  • Inserting a stacked bar chart: Go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon, select "Bar Chart," and then choose the "Stacked Bar" option to create a stacked bar chart based on your selected data.
  • Converting to a marimekko chart: Right-click on the chart and select "Change Chart Type." In the "Change Chart Type" dialog, choose "Combo" from the options on the left, and then select the "Clustered Column - Line" chart type for the series representing the category totals.
  • Adjusting the axis: Once the chart has been converted, you may need to adjust the axis and series settings to ensure the marimekko chart displays as intended. This may involve changing the series types, axis labels, and other chart elements.

Formatting the marimekko chart for better visualization

  • Managing data labels: Data labels can help provide context and insight into the chart. You can add, remove, or reposition data labels as needed to enhance the readability of the chart.
  • Formatting the chart area: Adjust the colors, borders, and backgrounds of the chart to make it visually appealing and easier to interpret. Consider using contrasting colors for different categories and ensuring that the chart is easily distinguishable.
  • Adding a legend: If your marimekko chart includes multiple series, consider adding a legend to provide clarity on the data being represented. You can position the legend in a suitable location on the chart to avoid clutter.
  • Utilizing gridlines and axes: Adjust the gridlines and axes to provide a visual guide for interpreting the data. You can choose to show or hide gridlines and adjust the scale of the axes to better represent the data.

Adding final touches

Once you have created the marimekko chart in Excel, there are a few final touches you can add to enhance its visual appeal and make it more informative for the audience. Here are some steps to consider:

A. Adding a title and axis labels to the chart

Adding a title to your marimekko chart will help viewers understand the purpose of the chart at a glance. To add a title, select the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab. Click on "Chart Title" and choose whether you want to add a title above the chart or overlaying it. After adding the title, you can also include axis labels to provide clear information about the data represented on the chart. To add axis labels, click on the "Axis Titles" option within the "Chart Tools" tab and then select "Primary Horizontal Axis Title" and "Primary Vertical Axis Title."

B. Adjusting colors and styles for better presentation

Customizing the colors and styles of the marimekko chart can significantly improve its readability and visual appeal. To change the colors of the chart elements, click on the specific element you want to modify (such as bars or legend items) and then right-click to access the formatting options. You can also adjust the overall style of the chart by selecting different chart layouts and styles from the "Design" tab in Excel. Experiment with different color schemes and styles to find the combination that best suits your data and presentation needs.


Recap of the steps to create a marimekko chart in Excel: First, organize your data into the correct format. Then, insert a stacked bar chart in Excel and adjust the chart layout. Finally, add data labels and customize the chart to create a marimekko chart.

Importance of using marimekko charts for data analysis: Marimekko charts are powerful tools for visualizing and analyzing data, especially when dealing with categorical and quantitative variables. They can help identify trends, patterns, and relationships within the data, making it easier to draw insights and make informed decisions.

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