To demonstrate how to create a bridge chart, we are going to use dummy data. The bridge chart will show the individual components of the profit and loss. Follow the steps below to create a bridge chart:
What is Bridge Chart?
Bridge charts are very useful when you want to present different datasets broken down into component parts or show the cause and effect sequence as a sum of positive and negative effects. It does not matter whether you want to present the income statement broken down into main items, the number of products sold in a given period, or a deviation from the plan. The use of a bridge chart will highlight the most important elements of the analysis, indicating whether a given element had a positive or negative impact on the final result.
How to insert Bridge Chart?
Enter dummy data like shown below.
Now you have to create a stack flow chart. To do this, click on the "INSERT" tab, then click on "Insert column chart" under the Charts group. Select the Stack Column.
A chart has been created, but it doesn't look like a bridge graph. To change this, right-click on any one of the blue columns (Excel will select all of the blue ones) and select "Format Data Series". A dialog box appears, where you should select "No fill".
To make it look like a bridge chart in the same dialog box, in the "Series Options" tick "Gap Width" 0% ("No Gap").
For an even more attractive graph format, the columns of revenue and profits can be set to fill in blue. Blue color for profits and red color for losses makes your chart easier to read. Better visualisation will make your chart better for the person who will use that.
That's it! Your bridge chart is now ready.
Thanks to the Bridge Chart, you will be able to show the causes of effects e.g., sales costs as a main part of general costs or mortgage installments as a large part of your household budget.
Download a free Bridge Chart template here.
Further reading: How to calculate EMI? Waterfall chart