Making better pie charts if you must
Oct 08, 2020
I saw this chart on an NYU marketing twitter account:
The graphical design is not easy on our eyes. It's just hard to read for various reasons.
The headline sounds like a subject line from an email.
The subheaders are long, and differ only by a single word.
Even if one prefers pie charts, they can be improved by following a few guidelines.
First, start the first sector at the 12-oclock direction. Like this:
The survey uses a 5-point scale from "Very Good" to "Very Bad". Instead of using five different colors, it's better to use two extreme colors and shading. Like this:
I also try hard to keep all text horizontal.
For those who prefers not to use pie charts, a side-by-side bar chart works well.
In my article for DataJournalism.com, I outlined "unspoken rules" for making various charts, including pie charts.
I marked a student project where they had used 5 pie charts for different years to show changes over time. They got a very bad mark for use of graphics.
Posted by: Ken | Oct 15, 2020 at 05:25 AM