You may not have noticed it before, but charts have slowly become a significant part of our everyday lives. They can be used to interpret data for a research paper or to create a visual representation of the data gathered for a market analysis. Professionals in the academic and healthcare industries even use different kinds of charts to guide their students or patients with their daily activities.
But with the many chart examples and types available, how can you determine which ones to use during specific circumstances?
If you were asked to define a chart for all that it is, what would you say?
There are many different components of a chart that each serve a unique purpose in the delivery of a message. This will help you clarify your data for its intended audience to understand. To do so, an average chart is typically comprised of the following elements:
Your manager asks you to prepare a presentation for a meeting with a couple of clients next week. You decide to create a short report to keep it quick and simple. However, a wordy narrative is the last thing your clients would want to deal with during the entire duration of your meeting. So instead, your manager suggests to visualize your data in such a way that leaves a maximum impact on your audience.
One of the easiest ways to do is to use a chart.
Learn how you can create a chart in Microsoft Excel with the steps listed below:
Step 1: Select the necessary data for the chart.
Step 2: Click on Insert > Recommended Charts.
Step 3: Choose a chart on the Recommended Charts tab to see a preview of the chart. You can also choose from other chart options by selecting the All Charts tab to see all chart types.
Step 4: Select the chart you need.
Step 5: Click OK.
Now that we have covered the basics of chart-making, it’s time to find out how you can enhance the look of your chart layout for better delivery.
There are different types of charts that are best suited for certain circumstances. To identify which chart type to use, you must consider what you want your readers to take away from the information being presented to them.
1. Vertical Bar Charts
This type of chart is perfect for comparing data that are grouped by discrete categories. Each bar shown in the chart is separated by a blank space to indicate that there is no inherent order to these groups, which, in this case, should consist of less than ten items.
2. Horizontal Bar Charts
Horizontal bar charts are a lot similar to their vertical counterpart, except that they are commonly used when the number of categories are greater than ten or so. It’s also a better option if the labels of each category are quite longer in length, as it is much easier to read if they are displayed in a proper orientation.
3. Pie Charts
Pie charts are a great choice for when you want to understand the parts of a whole. Pieces of the pie usually follow an order according to their specific sizes, and when added up, they amount to a total of 100%.
Because of how they look, these charts can make learning a lot more fun and easy for viewers to read.
4. Line Charts
Line charts are often used to display resulting data that are relative to a continuous variable, similar to that of time and money. Many marketers use these charts to project their performance over a period of time. Say for instance, you can use this to show how much your business has made over the past year for your annual sales report. By doing so, you could easily identify any trends that may be useful for your next strategy.
5. Scatter Plot
A scatter plot chart is typically used to convey the relationship between two different variables. The pattern generated from the data points plotted indicates a possible correlation between the two items. If it creates a band extending from the lower left to the upper right area of the chart, a positive correlation is likely to exist. If the band runs from the upper left to the lower right area, then a negative correlation is more probable. Otherwise, there might not be a relationship at all.
6. Area Charts
An area chart is fairly similar to a line chart, except that the space between the x-axis and the line created is filled with a particular pattern or color to indicate the area covered. This way, you can evaluate both the overall and individual trend information more effectively.
You might have noticed how some people manage to combine a vertical bar chart with a line chart to present their data. These visually interesting type of charts are referred to as histograms. Here, continuous variable shown on the x-axis is broken down into distinct intervals in which the number of data found in this interval determines the exact height of the bar. This is most ideal for illustrating distributions of your data for readers to grasp.
Since charts usually vary depending on their respective type and the amount of information they hold, it’s safe to say that there is no standard size for a chart. However, you do have the option to resize the chart to your own preference with the software (MS Excel, Word, etc.) being used.
Have any more concerns you’d want to address? Check out some of these frequently asked questions regarding charts:
You can either create a chart by hand or with an online or offline software. There are many software tools that can make your chart-making experience an easy task to accomplish in mere minutes. All you would have to do is to create your chart manually, or with the help of a ready-made template. And to your luck, you can find several chart templates in this article and all over the Internet for a more efficient approach.
Charts give you the opportunity to present significant data from a research in a way that is easy to comprehend. This serves as the perfect way to condense large amounts of information into a more simplified format for your audience to analyze a lot better.
Imagine if charts never existed. How can you draw attention toward significant facts and statistics without a visual representation of such? As humans, we are visual beings who rely on pictures and illustrations to remain attentive and engaged. Since numbers and symbols aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite thing in the world, using a chart to translate your findings is a great learning technique for most individuals.
So what are you waiting for? Use a chart to present your acquired data to an audience with the help of these chart templates and examples!