Select The Best Chart For Your Report

Selecting the best chart or graph is very important to tell your story and communicate the information you want. In this article, we will learn how to choose the best chart for your performance report and data analysis based on our objective.

To create a chart, you need first to understand why you might need this chart, below is the 5 most common reasons that we use to present our data:-

1- Comparison

2- Composition

3- Distribution

4- Trend over time

5- Relationship

To determine which chart is best suited for your report, let’s have a look at each reason or type separately:-

Comparison

If you want to compare two or more variables, charts can easily show the low and high values in the data sets.

comparison-column-charts

Examples:-

# To compare the performance of your search engine marketing campaigns versus paid social campaigns.

# To compare the performance of mobile website versus desktop website.

For comparing two or more variables the best charts are :

1- Column charts

2- Bar charts

3- Line charts

4- Combination charts

Composition

To show how individual parts make up the whole of something or how various parts comprise the whole.

pie-chart-data-composition

Examples:-

# To show a breakdown of website traffic sources from Analytics.

# To show browser types of website visitors.

Charts can be used to show composition:-

1- Pie charts

2- Stacked Column charts

3- Stacked bar charts

4- Area

Distribution

You want to show the distribution of a set of value to understand outliers or normal ranges.

data-distribution

Examples:-

# Distribution of website pages loading time.

# Distribution of repeat visits to your website.

Charts that can be used to show a distribution:-
1- Scatter plots

2- Line charts

3- Histogram

Trend over time

If you are interested in analyzing trends in your data set and want to know more about how data perform during specific time period.

trend-over-time-chart

Examples:-

# To show the conversion rate trend month on month.

# To show the average order value in the past year from your AdWords campaigns.

Charts that can be used to analyze trends:-

1- Line charts

2- Column charts

Relationship

You want to show or establish a relationship between two variables.

scatter-plot-relationship

Examples:-

# Relationship between website traffic and revenue.

# Relationship between keywords length and CTR.

Charts that can be used to show a relationship between two variables:-

1- Scatter plots

2- Line charts

Summary

The first and most important thing when it comes to chart selection is “what’s the purpose of this chart?” Is it to show a trend over time or a data composition? Once you have the answer, you can easily select the right chart to tell your story and communicate all the information you need.

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Ahmed launched his first digital campaign in 2013 through participating in Google Online Marketing Challenge. He competed with over 12,000 students from 80 countries to win the first place in Africa & MENA region and one of the best five campaigns in the world. Today, he works as an Associate Digital Director at Keyade Middle East.

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