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 Square […]

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 display […]

By |January 30th, 2012|Chart Types|8 Comments|
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    The Unbearable Lightness of Pie Charts [Data Visualization for Excel Users]

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|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 population […]

By |December 13th, 2011|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|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 […]

By |November 28th, 2011|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 […]

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 […]

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. […]