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Chapter 14. Showcasing Data with Charts,... > The Smart Use of Charts and Graphs

The Smart Use of Charts and Graphs

Charts are used to illustrate relationships—how one item relates to another, how an item this year relates to the same item last year. There are several different types of charts available to you as you create your Word documents. Some of the most commonly used charts include the following:

  • Column charts A column chart is used to show data comparisons. You might show, for example, how two data series “stack up” against each other for the first quarter.

  • Bar charts Word shows a bar chart as horizontal bars, graphing data items over time (or other categories). You might use a bar chart to compare the stages of different products in a production cycle.

  • Line charts A line chart plots data points over time or by category. You might use a line chart to show a trend in product returns over a six-month period.

  • Pie charts A pie chart shows the relationship of different data items to the whole. Each pie comprises 100 percent of the series being graphed, and each slice is shown as a percentage of the pie. You might use a pie chart to show the relative size of individual departments in the northeastern sales division of your company.

  • XY (Scatter) charts An XY chart enables you to plot pairs of data points over time. You might use an XY chart to contrast the test scores from a battery of exams given at two different universities.

  • Area charts An area chart gives you the means to compare data two different ways: You can show the accumulated result of the data items, and you can show how the data (and their relationship to one another) change over time. For example, you might use an area chart to show how many students took each module of the exam at two different universities.

  • Doughnut charts A doughnut chart is similar to a pie chart in that it shows the relationship between data items. Doughnut charts enable you to compare two sets of data and the way in which they relate to the whole and to each other. You might use a doughnut chart to portray two different sales campaigns. The sections of the doughnut could represent the different sales channels, and you could compare and contrast the different effects of each channel.

  • Radar charts A radar chart plots multiple data points and shows their relation to a center point. You might use a radar chart to show how each regional sales division fared in the recent sales competition.

  • Bubble charts A bubble chart enables you to plot three different data series. Each item is plotted at a particular point in time and shows the data value as a bubble. This would enable you to see, for example, which accounts had the highest charges during the second quarter.



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