When to use a Mekko chart

Earlier in the blog, we covered the basics of the Mekko or Marimekko chart. In this entry, we discuss types of analyses that are best suited for visualization through the Mekko chart. Note that not all readers will be familiar with these charts and it is important that they are well designed and simply convey the information.

The Mekko is a two dimensional stacked bar chart where the width and height of segments carry information. Unlike the bar-mekko, the Marimekko chart has a 100% y-axis.

The Marimekko is great way of answering a variety of market overview questions. For example if we want to understand who the most valuable franchises are by sport the Mekko is a succinct way of showing it (see chart below). Each column in the Mekko represents a sport and each segment is a franchise. In this example no franchise can exist in two different columns/sports.  This however does not have to be true for Mekko charts in general. Often the segments in a Mekko are repeated across the columns.

Mekko chart showing most valuable franchises by sport

Mekko chart showing most valuable franchises by sport

Other types of questions you can answer with the Marimekko include:

  • How many servers do Facebook, Amazon, and Google have across the world? Here we would make each continent a column in the Mekko and each company a horizontal segment
  • Who are largest medical device companies by product line? Each product line could be a column in the Mekko and each company a horizontal segment. The value plotted would be company revenue
  • Which countries grow the most coffee beans in the world? The columns of the Mekko would be continents. The segments would be the countries. The value plotted would be the amount of coffee grown.

The Mekko chart is a standard option with Aploris either on your Mac or PC. Simply select the Mariekko chart option and Aploris will provide you with sample chart and template data that you can quickly modify.

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