Archive for Which chart matches my message?

Flipping Your Bar Charts

Flipping Your Bar Charts

“Ann, I read your latest post, and I accidentally made a horizontal bar chart when it should’ve been a vertical bar chart! Am I going to have to delete my graph and start from scratch?” No way. Don’t delete a thing. That would be a huge waste…

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Bar Charts: Vertical or Horizontal?

Bar Charts: Vertical or Horizontal?

“Ann, should my bar charts be horizontal or vertical?” Ordinal variables get vertical bars Ordinal variables follow a natural progression—an order. I arrange ordinal categories from left to right so my viewers can view the sequence across the page, which means their bars are vertical. Use…

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Bar Charts: Regular or Stacked?

Bar Charts: Regular or Stacked?

Chart choosing is part art and part science. During workshops, I cover my chart choosing thought process in more detail. For now, let me save you hours of time with this not-so-secret secret: Start with a bar chart. Then, fine-tine your bar chart. Try your…

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Removing the Double Y Axis

Removing the Double Y Axis

My least favorite charts of all time include clustered bar charts, 3D exploding pie charts, and line charts with two y axes. By now, hopefully you know my style. I’m not just going to complain about a graph without offering an alternative. Sometimes we need…

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The Simplest Excel Hack You’ll See Today

The Simplest Excel Hack You’ll See Today

In my prior post, I sketched a few options for a performing arts organization’s fictional ticket sales data:   I intentionally separated the year-by-year bars from the total bar with a little extra space. I don’t want all the bars mushed together. Easy to sketch…

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