Different types of visuals
The right visual can make the difference between success and failure, to show results of a study, budget approval, presenting to your management board or simply trying to get your message across. Here are some of the most common graphs and charts used in presentations.
To easily identify differences between categories. To be used
- To show results of more than 10 items or categories to compare
- If your category labels or names are long
To describe values in a bar chart:
As you can see in this chart, Florida leads by a significant margin in Nail polish sales. While Nevada lags behind in Eyebrow pencil and Nail polish sales, it has a slight lead in Lpstick sales.
Bar charts can also be shown vertically instead of horizontally and is also called a column chart. This is more useful to use when you have fewer categories to compare. It is also useful when you have negative values to show.
To describe values in a column chart:
This chart indicates our company profits, by region, between 2001 and 2003. It clearly shows that we had largely negative profits in 2001, except in Florida, which was doing well until 2003, where it lost almost as much as it made in 2001.
2002 was our best year despite an eight-seven thousand dollar loss in Nevada.
- Compare and present lots of data at once
- Show trends or progress over time
- Highlight an increase or decrease of data
To describe values in a line graph:
This graph shows that interest in remote work was at a constant low rate before rising sharply in March and peaking at 3.5%.
To clearly show a market share in percentages.
- When you only have 3 -6 categories
- Illustrate part-to-whole comparisons
- Identify the smallest and largest items within a data set
To describe values in a pie chart:
It is obvious, looking at this chart, that Electronics has the largest proportion in sales volume while Toys has the smallest percentage.
The next visual is an effective way to show results of a survey or statistics instead of just showing numbers. It uses different images and highlights one number underneath each image.
- Show progress of a goal or project
- Highlight ratings
- Share survey results
- Share level of proficiency
To describe values in a pictograph:
Eighty percent of refugees live close to their country of origin.
Children of refugees are five times more likely to be uneducated than their non-refugee peers.
Six people a day lost their lives trying to reach Europe last year.
People who were displaced in the world doubled in the last year.