Charts to display parts of a whole

Finally revealed: the optimal number of categories in a pie chart

It's very simple, really: you do not compare proportions in a pie chart. Because a pie chart is not a comparison chart, it's a part-to-whole chart. When you do this: what you really want to do is to compare each slice to the whole, like this: because, if you want to compare them you must do this: I hope that [...]

By | February 14th, 2013|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|11 Comments

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

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

How Many Computer Scientists Does It Take to Screw Up a Pie Chart?

You can add  silly 3D effects to a pie chart, you can explode all the slices, you can compare multiple pie charts, you can use a legend instead of labeling the slices directly. This will probably render your graph useless, and make you look kind of dumb, but it is not the end of the world-as-we-know-it. But when making a [...]

By | October 12th, 2008|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Design|8 Comments

How to Make Better Pie Charts with On-Demand Details

This article goes much against conventional wisdom about pie charts (and doughnut charts) by answering these two simple questions: Can we use a large number of categories in pie charts? (Yes, we can.) Can we make a productive use of the apparently useless doughnut chart? (Yes, we can.) Disclaimer (Sort of...) Let me start by declaring this: I believe that [...]

By | September 24th, 2008|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|11 Comments

Pie Charts – A Devil’s Advocate Point of View

In what seems to be a post-vacation syndrome, I am in the mood for pie charts. I see them everywhere, even in car logos. Actually, I am more in the mood to defy current "crowd wisdom" about pie chats. Search the web for "pie chart" and you'll get more than one million results, and a depressing picture of human knowledge. [...]

By | September 11th, 2008|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|9 Comments

The Best Pie Charts Come From Germany

Best Pie Chart Award (clean and balanced. Your perception may not be great at comparing angles, but who cares?)   2th Place (also nice, but too many slices, and I don't like the title around the pie)   Lateral Pie-Thinking Award (well, perhaps someone just messed up the template)   Designer's Pie Charts Award (data? what data?)   Seth Godin's [...]

By | September 9th, 2008|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|10 Comments

Uncommon knowledge about pie charts

I'd like to answer or comment on search queries that bring readers to my blog. Here are some of them involving pie charts: What is the usefulness of pie chart in research? Research found that many pie charts resemble Pac-man. Pie charts of the american revolution They go very well with the Powerpoint version of the Gettysburg address. How to [...]

By | April 27th, 2008|09 Chart types: parts of a whole, Chart Types|Comments Off on Uncommon knowledge about pie charts