Visuals I Like

I continue my series on dashboard visualization:

This leads me to a little bit of advice for choosing bars versus columns.  You will want to choose a bar chart if the following are true:

  1. Category names are long, where by “long” I mean more than 2-3 characters.
  2. You have a lot of categories.
  3. You have relatively few periods—ideally, you’ll only have one period with a bar chart.

By contrast, you would choose a column chart if:

  1. Viewing across periods is important.  For example, I want to see the number of critic reviews fluctuate across the season for each of the TV shows.
  2. You have many periods with relatively few categories.  The more periods and the fewer categories, the more likely you are to want a column chart.
  3. Category names are short, by which I mean approximately 1-3 characters.

Some people will rotate text 90 degrees to try to turn a bar chart into a column chart.  I don’t like that because then people need to rotate the page or crane their necks.  In that case, just use the bar chart.

I like Cleveland dot plots, but they’re not implemented at all in Power BI and the two add-ons in the store aren’t that great either.  Also, there’s bonus material explaining why The Punisher season 1 was better than Daredevil season 1.

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