Why oh why do I give pie charts such a bad rap? Because people find them so easy to make that they use them for all the wrong reasons. Here are three simple rules for making a pie chart.
- Slices must represent percentages not counts or dates or timelines or averages.
- Slices must always add up to 100%. Not 412. Not 73. Not 0.037. Only 100%
- Slices representing the same number must always appear to be the same size. 3D pie charts do NOT do this.
Below are permissible forms of pie charts as well as one bar chart. Even better, these are permissible forms of 3D pie charts. If you’re unsure about whether your pie chart is failing one of the above requirements and it doesn’t fit in one of the below options, do not make a pie chart.
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…and a bar chart of my favourite pies.
Inspired by the television show “How I Met Your Mother.” See? I am NOT the only chart fanatic out there!