Pie chart

35 posts
Seeking simplicity in complex data: Bloomberg’s dataviz on UK gender pay gap

Bloomberg featured a thought-provoking dataviz that illustrates the pay gap by gender in the U.K. The dataset underlying this effort is complex, and the designers did a good job simplifying the data for ease of comprehension. U.K. companies are required to submit data on salaries and bonuses by gender, and by pay quartiles. The dataset is incomplete, since some companies are slow to report, and the analyst decided not to...

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Watching a valiant effort to rescue the pie chart

Today we return to the basics. In a twitter exchange with Dean E., I found the following pie chart in an Atlantic article about who's buying San Francisco real estate: The pie chart is great at one thing, showing how workers in the software industry accounted for half of the real estate purchases. (Dean and I both want to see more details of the analysis as we have many questions...

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Light entertainment: the crack pie that escaped and then resurfaced on TV

A famous restaurant bowed to pressure recently to rename its famous item, previously known as the "crack pie" (link). The crack pie that escaped the Milk Bar showed up here: Thanks to twitter friend DorsaAmir for alerting us to this chart.

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The unreasonable effect of chart labels

In discussing the bar-density and pie-density charts with a buddy (thanks LB!), it became obvious that the labeling is a challenge. And he's right. Here is the pie-density chart for the Youtube views with the labels as originally conceived. These labels are trying too hard to provide precise data to the reader. Here are some simplified labels that get at the message rather than the data: Here is a slightly...

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Bar-density and pie-density plots for showing relative proportions

In my last post, I described a bar-density chart to show paired data of proportions with an 80/20-type rule. The following example illustrates that a small proportion of Youtubers generate a large proportion of views. Other examples of this type of data include: the top 10% of families own 75% of U.S. household wealth (link) the top 1% of artists earn 77% of recorded music income (link) Five percent of...

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Finding simple ways to explain complicated data and concepts, using some Pew data

A reader submitted the following chart from Pew Research for discussion. The reader complained that this chart was difficult to comprehend. What are some of the reasons? The use of color is superfluous. Each line is a "cohort" of people being tracked over time. Each cohort is given its own color or hue. But the color or hue does not signify much. The dotted lines. This design element requires a...

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Education deserts: places without schools still serve pies and story time

I very much enjoyed reading The Chronicle's article on "education deserts" in the U.S., defined as places where there are no public colleges within reach of potential students. In particular, the data visualization deployed to illustrate the story is superb. For example, this map shows 1,500 colleges and their "catchment areas" defined as places within 60 minutes' drive. It does a great job walking through the logic of the analysis...

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The downside of discouraging pie charts

It's no secret most dataviz experts do not like pie charts. Our disdain for pie charts causes people to look for alternatives. Sometimes, the alternative is worse. Witness: This chart comes from the Spring 2018 issue of On Investing, the magazine for Charles Schwab customers. It's not a pie chart. I'm forced to say the pie chart is preferred. The original chart fails the self-sufficiency test. Here is the 2007...

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Beauty is in the eyes of the fishes

Reader Patrick S. sent in this old gem from Germany. He said: It displays the change in numbers of visitors to public pools in the German city of Hanover. The invisible y-axis seems to be, um, nonlinear, but at least it's monotonic, in contrast to the invisible x-axis. There's a nice touch, though: The eyes of the fish are pie charts. Black: outdoor pools, white: indoor pools (as explained in...

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Doing my duty on Pi Day #onelesspie

Xan Gregg and I started a #onelesspie campaign a few years ago. On Pi Day each year, we find a pie chart, and remake it. On Wikipedia, you can find all manners of pie chart. Try this search, and see for yourself. Here's one found on the Wiki page about the city of Ogema, in Canada: This chart has 20 age groups, each given a different color. That's way too...

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