About chart types

Which chart is right for me? That depends on the data and purpose of the chart.

IF i want a... of data like… i should use A...

Comparison

total revenue per month

Bar — compare values across categories, like total revenue per month. Add a goal line to measure performance against a goal.

Horizontal bar— just like a bar chart, but the bars display on their side (horizontal), rather than upright (vertical).

revenue per month, per product

Stacked bar — compare values across categories and see the % that each category contributes to the whole.

Horizontal stacked bar — just like a stacked bar chart, but the bars display on their side (horizontal), rather than upright (vertical).

Trend

product sales by region; volume of stock trading vs. close price

Line — see changes in value. Use two different Y-axes to compare data sets that have different value ranges.

revenue by project type; project cost and project hours

Line and bar — easily distinguish between line value and bar values; a quick way to visually compare data sets that have different value ranges, like project cost in the millions and project hours in the thousands. Learn how to create a line and bar chart and see examples.

contribution per product to profit over time

Area — see trends over time and how they relate to the whole in this chart that combines elements of line and pie charts.

Ratio

% each salesperson contributes to total sales

Pie— show how parts relate to the whole.

progress through a process, like a sales pipeline

Funnel — see where my data is within a process, like a sales pipeline. Learn how to create a funnel chart and see examples.

Relationship

project cost vs. return on investment (ROI)

Scatter — show correlations and relationships within your data. Learn how to create a scatter chart and see examples.

prospective sales by estimated close date, $ amount, and probability of close

Bubble — visualize three dimensions of data on a single chart. Select a field that determines the size of the bubble. Bubbles vary in size according to the values in this field. Learn how to create a bubble chart and see examples.

Performance

performance against a goal I set; total number of units sold

Gauge — measure progress against a goal. Set the number that the gauge starts at, often 0, and the goal — the number that indicates the gauge has reached 100% and is full. Learn how to create a gauge chart and see examples.

For more details, see Select a Chart Type.

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