Written for students, professionals, and social scientists with little or no knowledge of data visualization principles, this complete guide presents step-by-step instructions for clearly and effectively presenting data using MS Office programs. Throughout the book, the focus is on turning raw, quantitative data into attractive, well-designed charts and tables that tell an accurate narrative about underlying information. Helpful illustrations, expert tips for solving common issues, and discussions on working efficiently are included to equip readers with the tools they need to engage their audience using a visual format.

Pie Charts

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the controversy surrounding pie charts and related charts
  • Determine when to use a pie chart
  • Identify data appropriate for pie charts
  • Demonstrate best practices for creating pie charts
  • Compare pie charts with alternative visualizations

A pie chart is a type of area chart represented by a circle. It is used to show part-to-whole relationships. The circle (the pie) represents the whole, which is made up of wedges (the slices of pie). The slices are mutually exclusive and sum to 100%; see Figure 4.1.

Pie charts are found just about everywhere. They are commonly used to describe nominal data, such as job category; demographic characteristics, such as gender and race/ethnicity; presidential approval rating; responses to survey questions; and so on. They enjoy wide familiarity, are a standard ...

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