As data visualization becomes increasingly popular and designers and analysts alike look to put their own spin on the practice, sometimes we lose sight of the fundamentals. In many ways, data visualization has become a form of entertainment, and while I truly enjoy consuming and attempting innovative approaches, it is critical in a corporate environment to include some of the basics. One of the biggest secrets in data visualization is that even after over two centuries of existence, the bar chart and line graph are almost always the best forms of communicating data.
In the last tip, I covered why you shouldn’t use pie charts, a widely recognized and popular chart type introduced by William Playfair in his 1801 book, Statistical Breviary. I’m not a fan of pie charts, but that same man, William Playfair, “totally redeemed himself” (yes – that’s a Dumb and Dumber reference) by also inventing the bar chart and line graph. Actually, bar charts and line graphs preceded pie charts by fifteen years – Mr. Playfair should have quit while he was ahead!
The purpose of this tip is to offer some tutorials on how to create some of the most effective corporate chart types, all of which happen to be based in lines and bars. All three examples are deserving of their own posts, so if you would like to see examples of each and/or need some guidance on how to create each chart type in Tableau, please make a selection below: