Monday, May 11, 2009

To Pie Chart or not to Pie Chart

I've always had a natural aversion to pie charts. Pie charts seem all the less apealing when compared to bar charts.  I've wondered if it was just my preference or if there was some objective basis for this bias. Well, turns out there is a basis. Here are 4 reasons that I want to expand on in this blog:

1. More dificult to order sizes with a pie chart verses a bar chart
2. The Pie Chart  shows relative values but on absolute
3. Messy to correlate anything but simplest lables to pie slices
4. If there is an "other" group, it often looks like the largest when it's just a grouping of the smallest slices.