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Types of Graph - How to Choose Ideal Graph

Types of Graph - How to Choose Ideal Graph.

You will learn about different types of graphs and how to choose an ideal graph for the best presentation of your informative data.


Creation and study of the visual representation of data/information that has been abstracted in some schematic form.

Importance of Graph

Communicate information clearly and efficiently.
Numerical data may be encoded, to visually communicate a quantitative message.
Makes complex data more accessible, understandable & usable.
It helps users to analyze the data (comparisons or understanding causality).

Characteristics of the Ideal Graph

Show the data.
Induce the viewer to think about the substance rather than about methodology, graphic design, the technology of graphic production, or something else.
Avoid distorting what the data has to say.
Present many numbers in a small space.
Make large data sets coherent.

The Chart/Graph Making Process

Know the message
Arrange data
Prepare chart

A Graph Represents About

Trend over time
Parts of whole

Parts of chart

Source Data - The range of cells that make up a chart.
Title - The title of the chart.
Legend - The chart key, which identifies what each color on the chart represents.
Axis - The vertical and horizontal parts of a chart. The vertical axis (Y) and the Horizontal axis (X).

Data Series - The actual charted values, which are usually rows or columns of the source data.
Value Axis - The axis that represents the values or units of the source data.
Category Axis - The axis identifying each data series.

Column charts use vertical bars to represent data. Most frequently used for comparing information.
Line charts are ideal for showing trends. Data points are connected with lines, making it easy to see whether values are increasing or decreasing over time.
Pie charts make it easy to compare proportions. Each value is shown as a slice of the pie, so it's easy to see which values make up the percentage of a whole.
Bar charts work just like column charts, but they use horizontal rather than vertical bars.
Area charts are similar to line charts, except the areas under the lines are filled in.
X Y (Scatter)
Scatter charts are often used to find out if there is a relationship between variable X and Y.
They are graphical representations of historical stock prices which help to determine current supply and demand forces in a stock.
Allow display data across a 3D landscape. Works best with large data sets, allowing you to see a variety of information at the same time.
Similar to the Pie chart and Shows the relationship of parts to a whole but doughnut chart can contain more than one data series. Each data series that plot in this char adds a ring to the chart.
Displays 3D of data. Each entity with its triplet of associated data is plotted as a disk that expresses 2 of the values through the disk’s XY location and the third through its size.
Graphical method of displaying multivariate data in the form of a 2D chart of three or more quantitative variables represented on axes starting from the same point.
Graphically depicts the ratios of the three variables as positions in an equilateral triangle.
Waterfall (Flying Bricks)
It helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values.
It provides a hierarchical view of data and makes it easy to spot patterns.
Tree branches are represented by rectangles and each sub-branch is shown as a smaller rectangle.
Used to represent stages in a sales process and show the amount of potential revenue for each stage.
It also helps to identify potential problem areas in an organization’s sales processes.
Column/bar chart that uses, pyramid-shaped items to show data.
Location Map
Shown the margin to indicate the position of the sheet in relation to the surrounding country or to adjoining sheets of the same or adjacent map series.
Presents a single number as a meter reading.
Heat Map
Individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors.