Everything you need to know about pie charts!

pie chart

The slices of pie show the relative size of the data in a pie chart. Pie charts are popular representations of data in circular graphs. It is a type of visual representation of data. These are created using categorical criteria and numerical variables. The pie represents the whole and the slices represent the pieces. Pie charts are also called circle charts since they use circular statistical graphics to illustrate numerical problems by dividing them into sectors or slices.

It indicates exactly how much part of something is represented by each sector. When looking at the composition of something, pie charts are the best. In most cases, they replace other graph types such as bar graphs, line plots, histograms, etc. It allows you to see how small groups are divided into parts. If the above points are not met in a pie chart, it isn’t appropriate, and a different plot type should be used instead. The primary objective of a pie chart should be to compare each group’s contribution to the whole, rather than comparing groups to each other.

Formula of pie chart:

A pie chart is composed of several segments and sectors, in which each segment and sector represents a certain amount of the total. The total of these segments and sectors is always 360°.

When should you use a pie chart?

  • It is used primarily to display grouped data or categorize data in a way that makes the presentation more efficient. These charts are frequently used in offices, schools, and other institutions for presenting data. A pie chart is a suitable choice when there are fewer than six records for data and the changes don’t want to be addressed.
  • When different categories of data exist, pie charts are used to display them using colors that represent the different categories, allowing for comparison between them. It should be drawn making sure that all portions are equal in proportion, such that when summed up, all parts give the whole dataset.
  • Media and business industries are using pie charts to shed light on dominant factors in various fields that are of interest to their audiences. Pie charts are useful because they provide information about the distribution of data to the public. A pie chart is a simple but effective way of presenting large sets of data graphically, as they are much simpler than most other options.

What are the common mistakes while making pie charts?

  • Using invalid data: Pie charts are often used to represent data that do not provide a definitive parts-to-whole comparison. For example, percentages or proportions that cannot be expressed in a pie chart often represent percentages or proportions but do not provide an accurate picture.
  • Comparing different groups through the same pie chart: In that case, you should better use a different chart type since you want to compare groups rather than groups separately. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the difference between slices, especially when they get farther away from the beginning.
  • Don’t compare pie charts for the same thing over the years: You might want to compare several pie graphs to each other, such as comparing user demographics over time. In this case, though, you are facing the same problem as in the previous one; we are comparing pies, so the order of slices cannot be used to compare. When dealing with this kind of group-to-group comparison, it is often better to get the data presented in a different plot, such as a stacked bar graph, grouped bar graph, or line graph. Pie charts are often best viewed one at a time, too.

A bar graph is also an interesting tool to represent data, and you can learn more about it from Cuemath, one of the best maths teaching platforms. It provides exquisite conceptual knowledge regarding all mathematical topics as well as coding.


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