What type of charts to use for data visualization

- Pentaho

Designing Charts and Graphs: How to Choose the Right Data Visualization Types

Asking the right questions will form the foundations of choosing the right types of visualization charts for your project, strategy, or business goals. The fundamental categories that differentiate these questions are based on:

  • Relationship
  • Distribution
  • Composition
  • Comparison of data
  1. Do you want to compare values?

Charts are perfect for comparing one or many value sets, and they can easily show the low and high values in the data sets. To create a comparison chart, use these types of graphs:

  • Column
  • Bar
  • Pie
  • Line
  • Scatter Plot
  • Bullet
  1. Do you want to show the composition of something?

Use this type of chart to show how individual parts make up the whole of something, such as the device type used for mobile visitors to your website or total sales broken down by sales rep.

To show composition, use these charts:

  • Pie
  • Stacked Bar
  • Stacked Column
  • Area
  • Waterfall
  1. Do you want to understand the distribution of your data?

Distribution charts help you to understand outliers, the normal tendency, and the range of information in your values.

Use these charts to show distribution:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Line
  • Column
  • Bar
  1. Are you interested in analyzing trends in your data set?

If you want to know more information about how a data set performed during a specific time period, there are specific chart types that do extremely well.

You should choose a:

  • Line
  • Dual-Axis Line
  • Column
  1. Do you want to better understand the relationship between value sets?

Relationship charts are suited to showing how one variable relates to one or numerous different variables. You could use this to show how something positively effects, has no effect, or negatively effects another variable.

When trying to establish the relationship between things, use these charts:

  • Scatter Plot
  • Bubble
  • Line