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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

I Never Recommend the Use of Pie Charts!

Category:LEAN Innovation 

I Never Recommend the Use of Pie Charts!


"The truth is, I never recommend the use of pie charts" - Stephen Few.

I used pie charts for years and most of us still using them to display quantitative data daily, however the truth is, as Stephen Few said, they are wrong the wrong type of dispay media and there are scientific facts behind that!

The only thing pie charts have going for them is the fact that everybody immediately knows when they see a pie chart that they are seeing parts of a whole (or ought to be).  Beyond that pie charts dont display quantitative data very effectively.

Humans can't compare two-dimensional area or angles very accurately, and these are the two means that the pie chart uses to encode quantitative data.  Bar graphs are a much better way to display such information.

I have created two displays for the same data - have a look and compare?  Which one makes an easy interpretation and much more effective and accurate data display?

The figure above shows the use of the pie chart but only qualititatively to compare two values with a remarkable difference.

Thank you for your time, your feedback is greatly appreciated!


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