What is a Bourke Chart? (Diverging Bar Chart)

Showing the relationship between two values over a variety of categories or time periods is always a challenge.

Stacked Bar Charts:

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Combined Axis Line Graphs:

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Scatter Plots:

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Here’s an alternative designed by a student of mine. He was given a worksheet that looked like the one below and asked to make the visual more intuitive so end users could better understand the relationship between libraries and grants.

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Generally people opt for a scatter plot, but he took a different route:

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Notice how the states with high values jump out and how easy it is to spot anomalies. Here’s how you build this chart.

Build a normal side-by-side bar chart:

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Right-click on the first axis and check the box next to “Reversed” under Scale.

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The chart type is named in honor of that student, nicely done Bourke!