When to Use Horizontal Bar Charts vs. Vertical Column Charts

Jan 31st, 2017 / Data Visualization
The vertical-column-chart-or-horizontal-bar-chart question is one of the most common questions I receive about bar charts. It depends on what type of variable you’re graphing. If you took a research methods or statistics class back in college, then you might remember learning about terms like nominal, ordinal, interval, or ratio variables. Some of these variables are better suited to vertical column charts while other variables are better suited to horizontal bar charts. Let’s look at a few examples.
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Bar Charts: Regular or Stacked?

Jan 17th, 2017 / Data Visualization
Chart choosing is part art and part science. During workshops, I cover my chart choosing thought process in more detail. For now, let me save you hours of time with this not-so-secret secret: Start with a bar chart. Then, fine-tine your bar chart.
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How to Sketch, Doodle, and Draw Data Visualization Drafts by Hand

May 31st, 2016 / Data Visualization
Your job is to draw all the different versions of your dataset before you sit down to your computer. Draw, draw, draw. Aim for 5, 10, or 15 different types of graphs. The more you learn about data visualization, the more versions you’ll be able to draw. What would your dataset look like as a bar chart? As a stacked bar chart? A line graph? A pie chart? A tree map?
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One Dataset, Five Line Charts

Dec 15th, 2015 / Data Visualization
I recently partnered with a group of public health researchers. We were brainstorming different ways to display the number of new HIV infections in each subgroup and as always, there are several correct ways to display these numbers.
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