Excel chart gallery: a difficult equilibrium By Jorge Camoes| 2016-10-18T10:12:45+00:00 April 15th, 2008|17 Data visualization tools, Data Visualization Tools|18 Comments Share This Post, Choose Your Platform! FacebookTwitterLinkedinRedditTumblrGoogle+PinterestVkEmail Related Posts Permalink Gallery Excel vs. Tableau vs. PowerBI Permalink Gallery Excel 2016: the elephant (not) in the room Permalink Poll: Best title/subtitle for my datavis book Permalink Gallery Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure Permalink In London for the Tableau 6.0 Tour (Part II) 18 Comments Jayson April 15, 2008 at 22:56 I like the addition of a “junk” pie chart to show the ratio. I’m surprised it even made 11%. ConsultantNinja April 16, 2008 at 00:01 Why does this remind me of this? I’m surprised you picked series bars and not stacked bars. I find the latter much more useful. TillZ April 16, 2008 at 00:24 The stacked types can be useful too. The rest is really junk. admin April 15, 2008 at 23:36 A lesson for life: you only need 11% of what you have… tim April 16, 2008 at 00:56 i’d like to see an update with charts from Excel 2007. then we can have X% in 2007 vs 11% in 2003. see if they have improved over time? my guess? it might be up but still below 20%. it’s a bit like guessing how much (eye)candy is in the jar 🙂 Matias April 16, 2008 at 01:35 And your chart also shows how a bar chart is much better than a pie chart. Very nice! admin April 16, 2008 at 08:04 Tim, the chart gallery in Excel 2007 is exactly the same (well, at least in the beta version…) Jon Peltier April 16, 2008 at 12:52 Jorge – I’m almost in complete agreement. I would classify line/XY chart types with markers and lines as not junk. I would classify a bubble chart as 50% junk. The situation changes when you look at the chart types that are not useful for displaying information but are useful for constructing a worthy display which is otherwise not attainable. For examplle, while stacked columns and bars are not as useful for displaying information as they seem, hiding selected series in the stack produces useful floating charts. These are good for Gantt charts, for example, or charts that track high and low values (e.g., daily temperatures, blood pressure). Or for customizing a candlestick chaart or making a box plot. Re: 2007 vs. 2003. Jorge only showed the built-in standard chart types, whicch are essentially unchanged in 2007. He did not show the “built-in custom” types (great oxymoron, eh?) available in 2003 and earlier but dropped from 2007. This the junk content of 2007’s standard charts matches 2003’s. If you consider the junk content of the bult-in custom types, I’ll bet 2003’s raating drops to 7 or 8 percent. Tony April 16, 2008 at 14:37 Question Jorge. If you listed the pie chart under the “junk” section, why did you use it to illustrate the percent junk vs. percent useful? Kind of hypocritical, no? @ Jon – bubble charts would be a good topic for another post because they seem to be coming increasingly popular. admin April 16, 2008 at 16:55 Tony, I used a pie chart to create something that should look like a balance board. That’s why I titled the post “a difficult equilibrium”. This is a sort of infographic, but unfortunately my skills are limited when designing these things… Dave April 20, 2008 at 05:15 Excellent. I have found valid uses for pie charts: to show fractions of a whole; and radar charts: to show up to 8 variables; but otherwise I agree. I teach my information visualization students to avoid most of the same graphs that you categorize as junk. Because it requires scrolling to see the entire visualization I didn’t notice at first that the heights of the two columns are an appropriate visualization that supports your conclusion. Your visualization is reminiscent of Tufte’s “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within. Jon Peltier April 20, 2008 at 21:46 Dave – Radar plots lose their effectiveness when the values are close to the center, and they suffer from orientation effects the same way as pie charts do. A good alternative is a parallel coordinate chart: http://peltiertech.com/Excel/Charts/ParallelCoord.html And while we all “know” that pies are good for showing portions of a whole, they are not really all that good for that purpose, especially if there are too many slices. I prefer a column or bar chart with sorted data. Tim April 29, 2008 at 16:50 Given that how the utility of a pie chart depends on how and why it is used, and given that most times pie charts are not appropriate, maybe you should slice the pie chart “icon”: 89% in ‘Junk’ and 11% in ‘Useful’. =) Good work. Kapil November 10, 2009 at 10:52 Even the Pie Chart displaying 11% is in the JUNK ! 🙂 LOL. I completely agree… I never prefer to use these JUNK charts, worse even are the pie charts. … Pat July 21, 2010 at 13:19 I have created a template chart that I will be using for several dozen sets of data on a multi paged excel workbook. What I had in mind to avoid going through the incert, chart timeplate, shoose template etc… was to move the icon for the template to the command bar. Sounded logical to me. Obviously this cannot be done. Any suggestions? Jorge July 21, 2010 at 13:26 Pat: Record a macro with all those steps and link it to a button in the command bar. It should work, but I haven’t test it. Erik February 9, 2012 at 02:07 I like the fact that the pie chart is in the “junk” list, yet you chose that to represent how much junk there is compared to useful charts. Jorge Camoes February 10, 2012 at 15:28 Ironic, isn’t it? 🙂 Comments are closed.