Why do pie charts look the way they do? What makes this particular way of slicing up a circle the preferred way of showing part-to-whole relationships? In two short papers that I’m presenting this week at EuroVis, I looked at the design space of circular part-to-whole charts, including pie charts.
I gave a talk at Information+ earlier this year that has now been posted. It's about pie charts! And it was a fun talk, too. [Read more...] about Talk: Pie Charts – Unloved, Unstudied, and Misunderstood
After my recent posting on the results of our pie charts studies, Jorge Camoes teased me on Twitter about square pie charts. So I dug up the data from a study we ran many years ago to look at how well they compare to bars, pies, and squares. [Read more...] about A Reanalysis of A Study About (Square) Pie Charts from 2009
In two papers, Drew Skau and I recently showed that our idea of how we read pie charts is wrong, that donut charts are no worse than pie charts, and a few more things. Here is a detailed walk-through of the results of the three studies we conducted for this purpose. Let’s go on a little journey through some real data and do a little science together! [Read more…] about An Illustrated Tour of the Pie Chart Study Results
How do we read pie charts? Do they differ from the even more reviled donut charts? What about common pie chart designs like exploded pies? In two papers to be presented at EuroVis next week, Drew Skau and I show that the common wisdom about how we read these charts (by angle) is almost certainly wrong, and that things are much more complicated than we thought. [Read more…] about A Pair of Pie Chart Papers
You may think that the debate over pie charts was a new one, but it has raged on for at least 100 years. Brinton started it in 1914, and great drama unfolded in the pages of the Journal of the American Statistical Association in the 1920s. [Read more…] about Ye Olde Pie Chart Debate
Pie charts don’t get much respect. They’re almost always considered the wrong choice by those supposedly in the know. But how do we know that this is true? What evidence do we have to support this? The truth is, not much. And when we start digging for proof, it turns out that pie charts are much better than we want to admit. [Read more…] about In Defense of Pie Charts
Pie charts are perhaps the most ubiquitous chart type; they can be found in newspapers, business reports, and many other places. But few people actually understand the function of the pie chart and how to use it properly. In addition to issues stemming from using too many categories, the biggest problem is getting the basic premise: that the pie slices sum up to a meaningful whole.
[Read more…] about Understanding Pie Charts