# Marimekko Graphs the FREE and EASY way

You have maybe seen Marimekko charts produced in consultant presentations and with a little research you find out that it will cost you $400 a year to produce (together with a number of other charts). If this is of interest, you can find that solution at www.mekkographics.com. If you have the money, it works fabulously well. The beauty of the Marimekko graph is that it allows you to display proportional data on the x and y axis, especially useful if you are trying to show market data, for example, where there are multiple segments with different companies in each segment. Besides Mekkographics, the Peltier Tech Blog also has a way of creating Marimekko graphs for free. I personally found it difficult to use and maybe it is just me, so I am offering another way that I find very simple and takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete once you have done it once or twice. And it is FREE!

You have maybe seen Marimekko charts produced in consultant presentations and with a little research you find out that it will cost you $400 a year to produce (together with a number of other charts). If this is of interest, you can find that solution at www.mekkographics.com. If you have the money, it works fabulously well. The beauty of the Marimekko graph is that it allows you to display proportional data on the x and y axis, especially useful if you are trying to show market data, for example, where there are multiple segments with different companies in each segment.

Besides Mekkographics, the Peltier Tech Blog also has a way of creating Marimekko graphs for free. I personally found it difficult to use and maybe it is just me, so I am offering another way that I find very simple and takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete once you have done it once or twice.

For this blog, we are assuming that you are using excel or the graph function in PowerPoint.

We start with the data that we want to graph. In this case we has the different segments on the vertical and the companies within each segment on the horizontal. You will notice that some companies play in multiple segments and that each segment has an other “companies”. Since data is often not complete or perfect, the “other” is used to represent a lot of really small players or the portion of the total that is not accounted for and would take too long and cost too much to get to. It is the 20 in the 80/20 rule.

The first step in generating the graph is to look at the segments and what market share each one is of the total. Segment A is 37% of the total. We copy once and paste 37 rows of the same information. Segment B is 24% of the total and we copy and past 24 rows of the same information. We repeat for all the segments and we will have 100 rows when done. As a double check, I use the =count() function in excel to double check that I have the correct number of rows for each segment. Notice that I have the Segment label only once for each set of data. This is so that the label comes out once in the graph and is actually useful.

Now select all the data above and choose 100% Stacked Column as the graph type. You will notice that you now have a Marimekko graph BUT we need to do some formatting to beautify the output.

Select any series, right click, Format Data Series, Options, Select 100% Overlap, 0% Gap Width. Click OK. You will see the graph below. You can now color format to suit what you are trying to convey. In this case, I would select a color per company so that your audience can see where companies are playing in the market of interest. I usually use a light gray color for the “Other” company so that it does not stand out.

And one last enhancement I made is to add a line between each segment so that they stand out individually. Since that is not something that is easy to do in Excel, I normally paste the graph into PowerPoint and do that last step there where it is very simple.

Done! You now have a Marimekko graph, you paid nothing and with a little practice it takes all of 5-10 minutes. A hack? Sure, but it is FREE and EASY.