Can you read this chart?
Ready to make data-driven decisions? Test your abilities to read charts and graphs to extract insights.
Different products are items in a nominal scale and there is no inherent continuity between the values of each product. As such, a line graph isn't appropriate. Line graphs work when the items are connected and you want to see the shape of that connection.
Line Charts Don't Work for Nominal Values
Line graphs are perfect for items whose values are on an interval scale and therefore have a connection between them. This connection is necessary for a meaningful shape to emerge between the data points.
Line Graphs Expose the Shape of Data
This is a Bullet Graph
Stephen Few created this visualization specifically for dashboards as a replacement for the gauges and meters that commonly plague dashboards. It displays a single key measure against a comparative measure with qualitative ranges to assess whether current performance is good or bad.
The Bar Graph
Use this to show comparisons between like groups, for example, marketing revenue by region. Contextualize with an average or target line.
The Pie Chart
Don’t use pie charts, ever, if you can avoid it. If you need this sort of comparison, a bar graph works better. While this chart is very common in the wild, humans find it difficult to compare pie-shaped areas and it’s difficult to contextualize the data.
Which of these charts works best for analyzing how data changes over time?
Which kind of chart is best for comparing the total revenue of various regions?
Which of these common visualizations should you NEVER use?
Visualizations are meaningless if you're measuring the wrong KPIs.
Getting your tables, charts and visualizations right is critical to uncovering insights within your data. But they're worthless if they're for the wrong KPIs. Done correctly, the right KPIs foster harmony and collaboration. They empower our teams and focus their effort where they have meaningful impact. Misstep here, though, and the wrong KPIs create dissonance and drain creativity out of our teams.
Read The Critical Importance of a KPI Roadmap to discover how to purposefully choose the right KPIs.