Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Another reason to avoid pie charts

I got a big chuckle from yesterday’s WuMo comic, which was titled The reason to avoid pie charts. It showed what people might really be thinking about when you show them one. Instead of your topic and numbers, they are looking at those shapes and colors and imagining their favorite pie for dessert or a snack.

Back in 2007 Stephen Few had a long article titled Save the pies for dessert in which he discussed how pie charts are not very useful compared with other types you can use instead. It is still worth reading. Look at a SlideShare from Dave Paradi on How to select and create an effective visual for your business presentation.

The pie chart came from a 2010 blog post imagining the alternate history which would have resulted If the Mehrabian myth was true...

Images of pecan, lemon meringue, and cherry pies came from Wikimedia Commons.

1 comment:

Dave Paradi said...


Of course you posted this just before dinner time - it made me hungry :) Thanks for linking to my SlideShare.

I recently wrote about why pie charts are often misused and what could be a better visual in many situations. I also suggest that pie charts do have their place. I show examples to illustrate my ideas. The article is at http://www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com/issue-327-december-23-2014/