Bar charts are one of the most common data visualizations. You can use them to quickly compare data across categories, highlight differences, show trends and outliers, and reveal historical highs and lows at a glance. Bar charts are especially effective when you have data that can be split into multiple categories. For example, volume of shirts in different sizes, website traffic by referrer, or percent of spending by department.
The line chart, or line graph, connects several distinct data points, presenting them as one continuous evolution. Use line charts to view trends in data, usually over time (like stock price changes over five years or website page views for the month). The result is a simple, straightforward way to visualize changes in one value relative to another.
Pie charts are powerful ways to add detail to other visualizations. Alone, a pie chart doesn’t give the viewer a way to quickly and accurately compare information, so key points can get lost. Instead of making a pie chart the focus of your dashboard, use them alongside other charts and graphs to drill down into the data. This approach uses the pie chart’s simplicity to add information, without distracting from the larger picture.
Tableau combines a laser focus on how people Maps are a no-brainer for visualizing any kind of location information, whether it’s postal codes, state abbreviations, country names, or your own custom geocoding. If you have geographic information associated with your data, maps are a simple and compelling way to show how location correlates with trends in your data. Treemaps relate different segments of your data to the whole. Density maps are most effective when working with a data set containing many data points in a small geographic area.
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