Charting Guidelines

This is part of an ongoing series of charts that are sometimes a little hard to understand – read the first part on waterfalls, bullets, and sparks here. Candlesticks are central to visualizations in the stock trading business, and legend has it that the underlying principles have been around for centuries now. The Japanese first… Read More »

Data speaks best through visuals, not words – so believes renowned data journalist and TEDtalks speaker, David McCandless. According to him, 80% of all that we learn gets imbibed visually, and research would have to agree. Three groups of economists participated in a study where they were given a dataset and asked everyone the same… Read More »

These 3 charts are the cornerstone of most business dashboards. While a simple bar or pie might do for a small-scale project with limited relevance, applications that cater to large audiences and have to show dynamic updates and summaries must go a step further. That’s where slightly more convoluted charts come into play. A variety… Read More »

Lines drawn in the chart plot area to ‘aid in the visual alignment of data’ are called grid lines. Charts can have either vertical grid lines or horizontal grid lines or both. Fig: Column chart with horizontal grid lines Fig: Bar chart with vertical grid lines Fig: Bubble chart with horizontal and vertical grid lines… Read More »

Some wise man once said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Very true, as data visualization does make it easier to absorb large amounts of information quickly. However, words play a crucial role too. How often do you encounter a data visualization without any text on it? This article talks about 5 text… Read More »

The Column chart and the Stacked Column chart both display data using rectangular bars where the length of the bar is proportional to the data value. However, in the Column chart, data values are displayed side-by-side whereas in the Stacked chart, they are stacked one over the other.

The Line and the Area chart  look very similar. They even facilitate the same kind of analysis yet they cannot be used interchangeably. A line chart connects discrete but continuous data points by using straight line segments. It is effective in facilitating trend analysis. An area chart does the same except that the area below… Read More »

Both the Bar and the Column charts display data using rectangular bars where the length of the bar is proportional to the data value. Both are used to compare two or more values. However, their difference lies in their orientation. A Bar chart is oriented horizontally whereas the Column chart is oriented vertically. Figure … Read More »