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Recently both Numbers and Excel failed me in my charting needs. I got the job done in Numbers, but only with brute force by creating 28 charts in what should have been two.

Back in the 90s, when I was using Aldus Persuasion for my presentation needs, I remember there being a dedicated Mac OS charting program called something like Omni Chart (not related, to my knowledge, to The Omni Group) that offered more advanced charts than were at that time unavailable in Excel. Since it looks like I'll be doing more charting in the near future, I'm looking for something similar for OS X.

A major test of any recommended software would be its ability to easily create a chart like the one below, which shows comparison data for two groups who answered seven questions in two ways each (in this case, how important the question was and how well performance rated). The chart was created in Numbers and is actually fourteen charts, one for each column.

Comparison Column Chart with Stacks

Some points to mention:

  • The above chart is going to be created for dozens of projects in the future, so software price isn't too big an issue. I'm willing to spend money to save time.
  • I have a programming background. I'm open to something like the one of the Python charting libraries. I'm not restricted to Python, only OS X (self-imposed).
  • Does it have to be an application? A JavaScript charting library used locally could meet your needs and would probably be straightforward for you since you have a programming background. – Merrily Aug 11 '15 at 16:24
  • @Merrily It looks like I will be investigating both JavaScript and Python libraries as a solution to this. Please feel free to post that as an answer and not a comment so I can grant you the rep. – Chuck Aug 16 '15 at 20:27
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Since you have a programming background, you may want to consider using a JavaScript charting library to visualize your data. Your data set will probably fit one of the many chart types available through commercial solutions.

Without knowing precisely what data you're collecting, I made a demo/reproduction of your chart in the ZingChart JavaScript charting library. You can view it here: http://demos.zingchart.com/view/L0HA1L9Y

This demo also has tabs so you can see the JavaScript added to make the value boxes match your screenshot. Depending on how you collected your data, this part might be even more straightforward. But in essence, we used the bar chart type with "stacked" set to true, included a few series arrays for the different stacks, and added value boxes to recreate what you were trying to do with several charts in Numbers.

Full disclosure, I'm on the ZingChart team. But feel free to ask me any additional questions if you want more info on how this was made.

  • That's very cool, and I appreciate the effort. I'll look into it further. – Chuck Aug 19 '15 at 17:12

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