When it comes to presenting data in a visual way, the pie chart is often the go-to choice. But it doesn’t have to be the only option! In this blog post, we’ll explore five alternative ways to present data without using a pie chart. You’ll find out why you might want to choose these alternatives and how to use them effectively.
So, if you’re ready to explore some options that will make your data presentation stand out, let’s dive in and look at five innovative ways to present data without using a pie chart.
I recently finished reading Storytelling with Data, a very engaging examination of data visualization and data visualization best practices. One of the book’s major points is to avoid using pie charts.
I have previously heard this argument and know this subject to be divisive.
The main arguments against pie charts are straightforward in addition, people aren’t as clear when viewing graphs in pie chart form because they can’t quickly tell the difference in values. Human beings aren’t designed with sharp angles in mind.
1) Bar charts
Bar charts are a popular alternative to pie charts, as they are easier to read and allow for direct comparisons between data sets. Bar charts display data as rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent.
One of the benefits of using bar charts is that they can display multiple sets of data side by side, making it easier for readers to compare and contrast different variables.
For instance, if you wanted to compare the sales of three different products, you could use a bar chart with three bars representing each product.
Another advantage of using bar charts is that they are highly customizable.
You can change the color, thickness, and style of the bars to make them more visually appealing and impactful.
You can also add labels, annotations, and other elements to help readers interpret the data.
When using bar charts, it’s important to choose the right type of chart for your data set. Horizontal bar charts, for instance, may be more suitable if you have a long list of items to compare, while stacked bar charts can be used to display the composition of data sets.
2) Tree Maps
If you’re looking for a visually impactful alternative to a pie chart, a tree map might just do the trick. A tree map is a data visualization tool that displays hierarchical data in a rectangular form, using size and color to represent data points.
Tree maps work by dividing the rectangular area into smaller rectangles that represent individual data points.
The rectangles are then further divided into smaller rectangles, which represent subcategories within the data. The size of each rectangle corresponds to the data value it represents, while the color coding allows for additional data categorization.
Tree maps are ideal for showing how different components of a system contribute to an overall whole. For example, you could use a tree map to show the budget breakdown for a company, with each rectangle representing a department or expense category.
Alternatively, you could use a tree map to show the different areas of research focus for a scientific organization, with each rectangle representing a research subcategory.
Tree maps are a versatile and effective way to visualize hierarchical data and present it in a clear and compelling way.
They allow viewers to easily understand the data and make comparisons between different data points, making them a powerful tool for data-driven decision making. So if you’re looking for a fresh and exciting way to present data, give tree maps a try!
3) Waffle Chart
The Waffle Chart is a fun and visually interesting alternative to the traditional pie chart. It works by dividing a square into equal sections, with each section representing a percentage or proportion of the whole. The sections are then filled in to visually represent the data being presented.
This chart is great for presenting data that needs to be broken down into smaller categories or subgroups. It can also be useful for displaying data that needs to be compared side-by-side. Waffle charts are especially effective when presenting data that is easy to understand, but difficult to compare using traditional bar or line graphs.
One great advantage of the Waffle Chart is that it is easy to read and interpret. Unlike pie charts, which can be difficult to decipher when multiple sections are used, Waffle Charts provide a clear visual representation of each section of the chart.
To create a Waffle Chart, all you need is a basic square shape and a method for dividing the square into equal sections. You can use different colors to differentiate between each section, and even add text to make it easier to read.
4) Area graphs
Another alternative ative to pie charts is area graphs. These graphs use a similar format to line graphs, with the x-axis showing time or category and the y-axis representing quantity or percentage. However, instead of lines connecting the data points, the space beneath the line is filled with color to represent the data.
Area graphs can be useful for showing trends over time, comparing multiple data sets, and displaying both positive and negative values. They are especially effective for highlighting changes in proportions over time, as the colors create a visual representation of the areas being measured.
For example, an area graph can be used to show the growth of different social media platforms over time. The x-axis can show the years, and the y-axis can represent the percentage of users. The areas beneath the lines can be filled with different colors to represent the different platforms. This type of graph can help to show which platforms are growing in popularity and which ones are declining.