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When to use bar charts instead of pie charts

Image from the article when using bar charts instead of pie charts

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Unless you are a data scientist or have another job in general. Usage data visualization, Choose the right way to present information can I feel overwhelming. What software like Excel can do pack anything You can convert any type of data into almost any type of chart, but which right Is it for the story you are trying to tell?

Bar graphs and pie charts are Two common ways to represent dataand are sometimes used interchangeably, but are not meaningful for all types of datasets. Here’s how to choose between bar and pie charts:

When to use bar chart

A bar chart has two axes. One is the category (month) and the other is the number (number of visitors to the national park). Comparing the total number of visitors in January with the number of visitors in other months, You can also observe the months with the highest visitor traffic. Bar charts can be arranged horizontally or vertically.

Bar charts can also be used to combine data sets or show subcategory comparisons. For example, the number or percentage of votes received by each candidate in a constituency, broken down by age group of voters.

When to use pie charts

Pie charts on the other hand show categories as a percentage of the totalThe circle can be thought of as the total (100%). The width of each slice is determined by how much of the total it represents compared to other slices. Using a similar example, a pie chart could display the percentage of votes each candidate received out of the total votes cast by all voters.

Pie charts are only really useful if the individual data points they include add up to a whole, and that whole is itself part of the story. If you’re trying to convey how the parts relate to the whole (for example, what percentage of your budget is spent on rent), a bar chart may not be that clear.

If you choose a bar chart instead of a pie chart

There are some scenarios where pie charts are a poor choice, even though the data represents a meaningful piece of the whole.

  • too many categoriesIf the slice of pie is too narrow, it will be difficult to judge relative sizes. Additionally, charts become crowded and labels and annotations become difficult to read.
  • Slice sizes too similarIf the pie pieces are close but not equal in proportion, it can be difficult to interpret the relative sizes. At first glance, without clear labels, a pie chart may not clearly convey the exact proportions represented by the slices.
  • I have multiple datasetsPie charts can represent only one data set, which also add up to the whole. For example, you can’t compare salaries for specific job categories further broken down by gender.

Pie charts are particularly good at showing percentages of a whole, but bar charts are also useful for showing percentages rather than absolute numbers. Especially if the above restrictions exist, or if the categories are not mutually exclusive (for example, Allows users to select multiple answers or categories for a single question.

In general, use bar charts when comparing categories. A pie chart for comparing parts and wholes. However, if there are many parts (five or more), or if the pie slice percentages are not easily discernible (such as 1/3 or multiples of 1), a bar chart is better for visualizing the parts versus the whole. may be suitable. /Four). It’s not the other way around: pie charts are useless for category-to-category analysis.If the whole thing doesn’t make sense, compare.the bSecond row: the bar graph is More versatile than pie charts.

When to use bar charts instead of pie charts

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