How to use a pie chart? The golden rules

Personally, I don’t have anything against a pie chart in the right context. Some people hate pie charts/donut charts, I do not hold such strong views.

Really when considering using a pie chart with a dynamic tool like Qlik Sense or Tableau, it’s more about understanding the context.

Pie Charts are one of the best visualizations when they are comparing two values in a snapshot.

They are also one of the worst when doing pretty much anything else.


3D adds nothing but it does take away

3D can alter the meaning of the visualization by making whichever value at the front have a larger surface area on first glance.

**A pie chart should always have value labels **

Whether that is an absolute figure or relative, there should be a clear number.

Clutter is bad

Clutter is bad in any data visualization or dashboard, but this is especially true with the pie or donut chart

Time dimensions and pie charts don’t work together

Pie charts are not relevant for visualizing time or trends, it is also very difficult to compare two pie charts next to each other but this also can be confusing.