We can represent information using charts or tables both so first we think that either we go with charts or tables after that will look at the selection of optimum chart objects to represent information.
Tables work best when the data presentation:
- Is used to look up or compare individual values
- Requires precise values
- Values involve multiple units of measure
Graphs work best when the data presentation:
- Is used to communicate a message that is contained in the shape of the data
- Is used to reveal relationships among many values
Now, let’s look at the methods to select right charts to convey the right MESSAGE in an optimal way. To identify the right chart object, we should look at the type of Message:
Above, you can see that we have categorized the message in five buckets. Now, let’s look at the best charting methods for each type of message:
Comparison: To compare one data value with others. Charts to represent it are Column, Bar, Line
Distribution: To show the spread of data values over categories or continuous values. Charts: Scatter, Bubble, Box-plot, Bar charts
Breakup of whole: To analyse, how various parts comprise of the whole.Charts: Pie, Stacked Column or bar Chart
**Relationship:**To show the relationship between two variables. Charts: Scatter, Line Charts
Trends: To show trends over time, it is also called as “Time-Series” data. Charts: Line, Area, Column, Bar Charts
Hope this answer your query!