Choosing the right graph

“If the statistics are boring, then you’ve got the wrong numbers.” 
― Edward Tufte (pioneer of data visualization )

Graphs are often used as frequently as they should, but when they are used they are often just bar-charts or pie-charts. Personally I am a fan of Venn diagrams.

This venn would have helped me explain to school bullies to get their terminologies correct. I wasn’t a nerd I was a geek. Though possibly showing this graph to them would have made me a dweeb.

Related image

This graph is both mocking and brutally honest:

Choosing the right graph to present data can be difficult. I have tended to use pie-charts because they look visually interesting in PowerPoint presentations. But pie-charts are usually the wrong choice, as they:

  1. force us to compare areas (or angles), which can be difficult,
  2. people tend to only compare the biggest two or three wedges and
  3. they take up a lot of space to be readable.

This poster is helpful for deciding on what kind of graph you need to make (click to enlarge): (2017)

This great website not just helps with the selection of the graph type but also provides templates to download (free, no signup) in PowerPoint and Excel.

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