Chart is a visual representation of raw data. It makes data easy to understand, reveals relationships between data, amplifies the impact of data and converts raw data into useful information for managerial decision making.
Here are 5 simple tips that will help you increase the usability of your charts:
A chart title tells the audience what the chart is for. It helps the audience read and understand the chart faster. Chart title should be descriptive and not too short. So it doesn’t cause a misunderstanding. For example, 2015-06 is better than 15-06.
But it not means we have to write a long title, because the audience always gets only a few seconds to see the chart and make sense of it. Consider the two following sentences:
Market Share Percentage of January 2014 to January 2015
Market Share Perc.(Jan 2014 to Jan 2015)
The second option holds the specificity of the data without any loss of information.
If the data is name or category-based, and not time-based, it is a good idea to arrange the data in descending/ascending order.
Trend lines are used to graphically display trends in data and to help analyze problems of prediction. Such analysis is also named regression analysis. By using regression analysis, you can extend a trend line in a chart beyond the actual data to predict future values. But you cannot add a trend line to data series in a stacked, 3-D, radar, pie, surface, or doughnut chart.