How To Do A Pie Chart

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How To Create A Pie Chart In Excel In 60 Seconds Or Less

how to do a pie chart

At the beginning of 2021, I was tasked with an assignment: Create a pie chart showcasing which types of content performed best on the Marketing Blog in 2020.

The question was an undeniably important one, as it would influence what types of content we wrote in 2021, along with identifying new opportunities for growth.

But once I’d compiled all relevant data, I was stuck How could I easily create a pie chart to showcase my results?

Fortunately, I’ve since figured it out. Here, let’s dive into how you can create your own excel pie chart for impressive marketing reports and presentations. Plus, how to rotate a pie chart in excel, explode a pie chart, and even how to create a 3-dimensional version.

Let’s dive in.

How To Display Only The Top 10 Values In A Chart

I have a pie chart with a dimension that has more than 100 values and I want to present this chart only the top 10 in ascending order

Select the chart and then – click the 3 dots in top right corner of the chart…

Updating this thread as there is a solution now that probably came with the latest updates. In the Visual level filters, if you click on the drop down arrow of the group that you want to show top N of, click on the drop-down for “Filter type” and you should be able to see the choice “Top N”.

With that selected, you are now able to show “Top Items” and input your value . Finally, pull in the column where you are calculating the value into “By value” and you should be able to quickly get what you need.

i use this but many a times, it shows more than 10 values

Hi ,

Just to to the visual filters of the chart. Then add a filter of the leyend type Top N in this case set 10. You need also to add the By value parameter to order this top 10.

I hope it works.

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After you’ve sorted your top ten issue, please consider using a different chart type. Pie charts, specifically 3D pie charts are very bad choices for data visualisations. Humans cannot easily compare wedges of a slice, and a 3D distortion makes it even more difficult.

For a more comprehensive discussion about alternatives to pie charts please read Save the Pies for Dessert by Stephen Few.

Create A Pie Chart In Google Sheets

is much simpler than you might think. Select the data you want to use for the chart. You can do this by dragging through the cells containing the data.

Then, click Insert > Chart from the menu.

Youll immediately see a recommended graph appear based on your data. It may be a pie chart, but if not, dont worry, you can change it easily.

Select the chart and click the three dots that display on the top right of it. Click Edit Chart to open the Chart Editor sidebar.

On the Setup tab at the top of the sidebar, click the Chart Type drop-down box. Go down to the Pie section and select the pie chart style you want to use. You can pick a Pie Chart, Doughnut Chart, or 3D Pie Chart.

You can then use the other options on the Setup tab to adjust the data range, switch rows and columns, or use the first row as headers.

Once the chart updates with your style and setup adjustments, youre ready to make your customizations.

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Pie Chart With Annotated Percentages

# Pie Chart with Percentages slices < – c lbls < – c pct < – round*100) lbls < – paste # add percents to labels lbls < – paste # ad % to labels pie), main=”Pie Chart of Countries”)

The pie3D function in the plotrix package provides 3D exploded pie charts.

# 3D Exploded Pie Chart slices < – c lbls < – c pie3D

Should You Be Using Pie Of Pie Or Bar Of Pie Charts

Creating Pie of Pie and Bar of Pie charts

While I am not a fan, I will not go as far as forbidding you to use these charts.

I have seen these charts being used in management meetings and one reason these are still being used is that it helps in letting you tell the story.

If youre presenting this chart live to an audience, you can command their attention and take them through the different slices. Since youre doing all the presentation, you also have the control to make sure things are understood the way its supposed to be, and there is no confusion.

For example, if you look at the chart below, someone may misunderstand that the green slice is bigger than the gray slice. In reality, the entire Pie chart on the right is equal to the gray slice only.

Adding data labels definitely helps, but the visual aspect always leaves some room for confusion.

So, if I am using this chart with a live presentation, I can still guide the attention and avoid confusion, but I wouldnt use these in a report or dashboard where I am not there to explain it.

In such a case, I would rather use a simple bar/column chart and eliminate any chance of confusion.

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Creating Exploding Pies And Exploding Slices

The exploded pie option can be easier to read if there are a lot of values in your data set. If you want to emphasise a particular value, use the exploding slice option.

There are a couple ways to create exploding pies and exploding slices.

  • Select the Exploded Pie option when creating the chart.
  • 2. Add the exploding pie after you create the chart. To create an exploded pie, click and drag any slice, and the chart will adjust.

    3. To explode a single slice, click once on the pie to select it, click on the desired slice, and then drag it out of the pie.

    Note: If the two clicks are too close together, the Format Data Point window will appear.

    Pie Chart Of Categorical Data

    Consider, for instance, that you want to create a circle chart with the corresponding percentage of males and females registrered in some event. You have the following data:

    gender_var < - factor, rep))gender_var
    Male   Male   Male   Male   Male   Male   Male   Male   Male   Male  Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female FemaleFemale Female Female Female Female Female Female Female Female FemaleLevels: Female Male

    Hence, as you have a character variable, you can use the table function to count the number of males and females of the character vector and pass the output to the pie function.

    gender_table < - tablepie

    An alternative is to use the PieChart function, but as we pointed out before, you need to create a data frame with a character or factor variable:

    gender < - data.frame# install.packageslibraryPieChart, main = "")

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    When Should I Pass On The Pie

    How to Make a Pie Chart in Excel

    Generally speaking, pies should not be used for evaluating the relative sizes of categories, comparing data across pies, and visualizing percentages that do not sum to 100%. Lets look at an example of each.

    Comparing the size of categories: Pie charts break down pretty quickly if we need our audience to have a more nuanced understanding of our data than simply big, small, or about the same. To illustrate, consider the following example. If I asked you to compare the size of slices C and D, which would you conclude is larger? Taking it a step further, how easily can you estimate how much bigger?

    This example demonstrates one limitation of data encoded as pie slices: humans eyes arent well-equipped to compare areas. The challenge becomes even more pronounced without a consistent baselinelike a y-axis in a horizontal bar chartagainst which to make the visual comparison. As illustrated in the following, comparing the size of C vs D is much easier in the graph on the right. Were also comparing one dimension across two categories, instead of irregularly-shaped areas.

    Comparing data across pies: this is a difficult task the things you aim to compare are separated visually and are located in different places on each pie. To illustrate, check out the pair of pies below, excerpted from Exercise 2.1 of Storytelling with Data: Lets Practice!

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    Pie Chart In Spss: Steps

    Step 1:

    Pie charts can be made using legacy dialogs.

    Step 2: to tell SPSS what kind of data you have in the data sheet: Summaries for groups of cases, summaries of separate variables or values of individual cases. Click Define after you have made your selection.

    Step 3: Choose which variable you want the chart to represent. Click a variable name in the left window and then click the top arrow to move it into the Slices Represent box.

    Step 4: Choose other custom options, such as splitting the data into rows and columns. You can also use variable names on the graph instead of case numbers. These other options are all optional You do not have to define them to create a basic pie chart.

    Step 5: .

    Tip: To edit a SPSS pie chart, double-click on the graph. A Chart Editor window appears. You can also right-click on the chart, then select Edit Content and then select In separate window.Tip: Depending on the speed of your computer, SPSS may take a few moments to create the graph. You will see Running Graph in the bottom right of the window as SPSS works to create the graph.

    Pull The Whole Pie Apart

    The quickest way to pull all of the slices out of a pie chart is to click the pie chart and then drag away from the center of the chart.

    To more precisely control the expansion, follow these steps:

  • Right-click the pie chart, then click Format Data Series.

  • Drag the Pie Explosion slider to increase the separation, or enter a number in the percentage box.

  • Tip: You can also give your pie chart a different perspective by Rotating a chart.

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    Whats Good About Pie Charts

  • Easy to create: While most of the charts in Excel are easy to create, pie charts are even easier. You dont need to worry a lot about customization as most of the times, the default settings are good enough. And if you need to customize it, there are many formatting options available.
  • Easy to read: If you only have a few data points, Pie charts can be very easy to read. As soon as someone looks at a Pie chart, they can figure out what it means. Note that this works only if you have a few data points. When you have a lot of data points, the slices get smaller and become hard to figure out
  • Management loves Pie Charts: In my many years of corporate career as a financial analyst, I have seen the love managers/clients have for Pie charts . There have been instances, where I have been asked to convert bar/column charts into Pie charts .
  • If youre interested, you can also read this article by Excel charting expert Jon Peltier on why we love pie charts

    Add Data Labels To The Pie Chart

    How to Make an Excel Pie Chart

    There are many different parts to a chart in Excel, such as the plot area that contains the pie chart representing the selected data series, the legend, and the chart title and labels. All these parts are separate objects, and each can be formatted separately. To tell Excel which part of the chart you want to format, select it.

    If you don’t get the desired results, the right part of the chart was not selected. A common mistake is selecting the plot area in the center of the chart when the intention is to select the entire chart. The easiest way to select the entire chart is to select a corner of the chart.

    If you make a mistake, use the Excel undo feature to remove the mistake. Then, select the right part of the chart and try again.

    To add data labels to a pie chart:

  • Select the plot area of the pie chart.

  • Right-click the chart.

  • Select Add Data Labels.

  • Select Add Data Labels. In this example, the sales for each cookie is added to the slices of the pie chart.

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    When Should You Not Use A Pie Chart

    The most obvious reason not to use a pie chart is if you have no percentages to illustrate or the percentages you do have dont add up to 100%. This may happen if youve conducted a survey and allowed people to select multiple answers to a question in that case, your data will not add up to 100%.

    As you can see in this pie chart, the percentages from each section add up to more than 100%:

    The creator of the original pie chart should have presented the data kinda like this:

    For more examples of misleading graphs, check out this post: 5 Ways Writers Use Misleading Graphs to Manipulate You

    But there are two other reasons why other data visualizations like bar graphs may be better suited for the data you have:

    • You have lots of percentages to compare. Pie charts can quickly become difficult to read if you have more than a few slices. Ideally, you should limit your pie chart to no more than five slices.
    • The percentages you do have are similar. Even in pie charts that only have a handful of slices, if any percentages in the pie are within 5-10 percentage points, it will be hard for readers to understand what theyre supposed to get out of the data.

    It comes down to this: If your pie chart will be overly complicated to the point that its no longer an effective way to visualize data, try a bar chart or line graph. Data visualization isnt just for dressing up a design, so if the method youve chosen doesnt help people visualize information, choose another method.

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