In this article, Chart of the Day: Here's how Singaporeans spend their income, we see the notorious pie chart making its entrance.
Pie charts are notorious due to the following reasons:
- It's difficult to see the ranking straightaway: Sizes of the slices are not in any order.
- The colors are random and have no meaning (and not looking very attractive): If the colors have a gradient according to the percentages, it could help in visualizing the ranking.
- It's difficult to see how much more is one category over the other: Comparing length of radii (or angles) is challenging. But if we are only interested in their individual parts relative to the whole and not interested in comparing the magnitude of categories, perhaps this would not be a concern.
However, is pie chart out of the question? Is it a pie chart "pie" issue or a pie chart "chart" issue? You decide! I've come up with two alternatives to the original pie chart, hoping to address the concerns above. Vote in the form here and see what others think :)
You might also be interested in the never-ending discussion on whether pie charts are acceptable and why pie charts are controversial.