Building a pyramid visual using a bar chart

edited October 2023 in Best Practices

Author: Subham Garg is a Senior Data & Insights Architect at Anaplan.

Anaplan doesn’t have a pyramid chart option for reporting. However, there are certain metrics that work better with a pyramid chart than any other chart format. For instance, sales pipeline or number of employees at different ranks in a company are best displayed by a pyramid chart .

Fig 1: Upside down Pyramid chart

Fig 2: Pyramid chart


Pyramid stages should exist as a list in the model.

Steps to create the pyramid visual using a bar chart

We will take sales pipeline stages as an example for the demo purpose.

Step 1: Create the source module.

This module serves as the source for the chart.

  • This module should have desired the pyramid stages as the dimension.
  • Add a line item which contains the original value of the metric.

In this example, we have sales pipeline stages in the column as the dimension and #Opps as the line item. Data is entered manually. However, it can be calculated in the model itself or referenced from the other module.

Step 2: Setup additional line items.

These line items will be used to provide the pyramid shape to the bar chart.

  • Add two more line items to the module and name them #Opps (+ve) and #Opps (-ve).
  • These two line items will have half of the value for the original line item. One will have positive value and the other negative.

Step 3: Create a saved view to use for the chart.

You can also use a custom view for it.

  • Hide the original line item.
  • Put line items in rows and the list in column.

Step 4: Create the chart.

This chart can be normal or an upside-down pyramid chart.

  • Go to the dashboard in the app where this chart needs to be displayed.
  • Add a chart card, select the saved view created in the step 3 as the source and choose bar chart in chart type section in the overview tab.
  • Go to the chart tab in the card settings and choose “stacked” in the default settings for the series section.
  • Choose the same color for both the line items in the series section.

Step 5: Hide legend and the axis font (optional).

  • Hit edit on the chart card and go to the chart tab.
  • Go to the axis section and choose white in axis font color.
  • Go to the labels section and choose “hidden” from dropdown in legend position.

Step 6: Add a supporting data table (optional).

  • Create a saved view with list in the row and original line item (#Opps) in the column.
  • Add a grid card to the dashboard and choose the newly created saved view as the source.
  • Go to the grid tab, and choose the row height as medium to align it to the chart.

And now you have a pyramid visual!

Questions? Leave a comment!