Bar charts, pie charts, line charts, scatterplots / XY, bubble charts…

I love 3D bar charts

OK, maybe "love" is too strong a word. Let's say that 3D column/bar charts are like a tall and ugly building: better appreciated from the top, where you can't see it but you can enjoy a great view. Like this: Now, change the viewing angle, remove gaps and you get this: I'm shamelessly copying the first image in Robert Kosara's [...]

By | March 6th, 2012|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|3 Comments

The best of two worlds: the scatterplot pie

The best chart is always task-dependent, but let me assume that you would choose the scatterplot as the best chart and the pie as the worst. They are like water and oil: impossible to mix them! Are they? Let me tell you about a little experiment. I call it the scatterplot pie just for fun, and the idea is to [...]

By | January 30th, 2012|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|8 Comments

The Unbearable Lightness of Pie Charts [Data Visualization for Excel Users]

Well, a data visualization book cannot avoid pie charts, so here it is, a page about pie charts for my tutorial Data Visualization for Excel Users. Enjoy and comment, please...  

By | January 16th, 2012|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|6 Comments

Making maps in Excel: cross-stitching edition

There are several objects in Excel you can make a map with. If you want to use shapes, you can follow my tutorial. You can also use a scatter plot. The map above uses cells and conditional formatting. So, here is how to do it (this example used population data): Get a table from the US Census Bureau with latitude, longitude and [...]

By | December 13th, 2011|08 Order and ranking, Chart Types|6 Comments

The same data, the same map, different stories

Choropleth maps are the pie charts of cartography. Both can show us a simple pattern, but that's a very low starting point. And both have severe perceptual issues. One of the issues with maps is how to define classes. Gregor published last Friday an interesting post and I wanted to play with the same data, percentage of population living in poverty (and [...]

By | December 2nd, 2011|14 Effective design, Chart Types|5 Comments

16 creative pie charts to spice up your next infographic

We know how popular pie charts are in business presentations, but pie charts and infographics is a marriage made in heaven. Let me share with you 16 cool ideas to add pie charts to your next infographic. I'll add a brief comment to tell you what makes each unique and link-worthy. Please note that these are simple drafts in Excel. Adding makeup [...]

By | November 28th, 2011|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|15 Comments

Beautiful but Terrible Pyramids: Tableau Edition

Well, here is my first chart in Tableau, finally! After publishing my experiments with population pyramids (using Excel), I thought I could try Tableau Public with the same dataset from the US Census Bureau. Here is the result. I never really played before with Tableau Public and it took my less than an hour to upload the data and make [...]

By | July 12th, 2011|11 Chart types: change over time, Chart Types|11 Comments

Beautiful But Terrible Population Pyramids

These are the population pyramids (and half-pyramids...) of some more or less randomly selected countries. Each series displays population by age group (both sexes) in a given year, from 1981 (darker color) to 2050 (lighter color). The charts share the same scales (5-year age groups from 0 to 100+ in the y axis, and 0% - 20% in the x [...]

The health benefits of line charts

I recently bought a pedometer to make sure I walk at least those recommended 10,000 steps a day. As you can see, there is a strong variation, and no meaningful pattern is emerging. Now that I’m blogging about it, I’m sure that will happen soon :). It’s commonly accepted that, when displaying a time series, you should use line charts [...]

Highest Mountains, Deepest Trenches, and a Doughnut

A while ago something broke inside me. My deepest held beliefs were shattered. I started drinking again. Absinthe. I love absinthe. 69% ABV. It started when I saw it. A glorious pie chart displaying growth rates. Growth! At first, I couldn't believe it. I took off my glasses. Yes, growth rates. In a pie chart. I had to try it. Unemployment rates. [...]

By | April 1st, 2011|14 Effective design, Chart Types|4 Comments