3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2018 3:52 AM by Chris McClellan

# Graphs Usage

I would like to understand the advantages and disadvantages of all graphs with real time scenarios. Also, I need to know 'when to use which charts'. It would be great if anybody shares your thoughts (in detail)

• ###### 1. Re: Graphs Usage

Hi Nizam,

There are lots of wonderful article on this topic. To stat with, below is the chart that will give a basic idea of when to use which chart:

You can refer below links for more details description on this topic:

https://www.tableau.com/learn/whitepapers/which-chart-or-graph-is-right-for-you

1 of 1 people found this helpful
• ###### 2. Re: Graphs Usage

There are numbers of good articles on this but here I have given you a short information about it.

There are many different types of data presentation.  Four of those types include tables, bar graphs, line graphs and pie charts.

A table lists data in columns.  Tables can be useful if trying to show comparisons between certain types of data, such as what services each department provides.  However, tables may be less effective if trying to show a trend over time, such as how many patients entered an emergency department.  That would be better demonstrated using a line graph.

A line graph plots data points along a number line.  Line graphs can help show changes in the data over time or demonstrate trends.  A disadvantage of a line graph is that one particular data point cannot be effectively evaluated using this method.  That may be better done with a bar graph.

Bar graphs compare data at a point in time and assist the viewer in comparing different types of data.  For example, if someone would want to see what day of the week was busiest for the emergency department, that would best be illustrated by a bar graph.  A disadvantage to a bar graph is also that it does not demonstrate trends over time as well as line graph.

• Show each data category in a frequency distribution
• Display relative numbers/proportions of multiple categories
• Summarize a large amount of data in a visual, easily intepretable form
• Make trends easier to highlight than tables do
• Estimates can be made quickly and accurately
• Permit visual guidance on accuracy and reasonableness of calculations
• Accessible to a wide audience

• fail to expose key assumptions, causes, impacts and patterns
• can be easily manipulated to give false impressions

A pie chart may be used in a similar fashion to a bar graph.  An advantage of the pie chart is it shows the parts of a whole.  Using the emergency department example, it would show the week as a whole and the percentage of patients entering the emergency department each day of the week.  A disadvantage to a pie chart is that too many variables may make it difficult to read.

Here I have attached two images as well. Please take a look.