How to Use Charts and Graphs Effectively

Way to present whole data in smart way.

Graphs and charts can organize and present complex data making it easier for people to understand and are commonly used for business purposes.When you show an effective graph or chart, your report or presentation gains clarity and authority, whether you’re comparing sales figures or highlighting a trend. Knowing the difference between various types of graphs and charts can help you choose the best one for your project. In this article, we discuss the most common charts and graphs in business and how they are typically used.

Different types of graphs

There are numbers of graph that are being used in market for presenting different purpose. You can choose from many types of graphs to display data, including:

1. Line graph

One of the graphs you will likely use most often is a line graph.They are most useful for showing trends and for identifying whether two variables relate to (or “correlate with”) one another. Line graph illustrate how related data changes over a specific period of time. One axis might display a value, while the other axis shows the timeline. Line graphs are useful for illustrating trends such as temperature changes during certain dates.

Examples of trend data include how sales figures vary from month to month, and how engine performance changes as the engine temperature rises.

Akhbar Point Inc’ sales vary throughout the year. By plotting sales figures on a line graph (as shown in following figure), you can see the main fluctuations during the course of a year. Here, sales drop off in June and July, and again towards the end of the year.

Line Graph

2. Bar Graphs

Here is another type of graph that shows relationships between different data sets is the bar graph. If you’re comparing different categories of data, like sales performance for different products, a bar chart is your friend. Each product gets its own bar, and the height represents its sales. It’s like comparing the heights of different buildings – the taller the bar, the higher the sales.

Bar graphs can be either horizontal or vertical. One axis represents the categories, while the other represents the value of each category. The height or length of each bar relates directly to its value. Marketing companies often use bar graphs to display ratings and survey responses.

For Example, Akhbar Point Inc sells three different models of its main product: the Alpha, the Platinum, and the Deluxe. By plotting the sales of each model over a three-year period, you can see trends that might be masked by a simple analysis of the figures themselves.

Bar Chart

Above data can also be represented on a horizontal bar graph, as shown in following.

Horizontal Bar chart

3. Pie Charts

A pie chart presents the different parts of a whole. It looks like a circle divided into many pieces, much like a pie cut into slices. The pieces are different sizes based on how much of the whole they represent. Each piece usually has a label to represent its value compared to the whole. Professionals can use pie charts in business presentations to demonstrate population segments, market research responses and budget allocations. It’s like cutting up a pizza – each slice represents a portion of the whole.

The pie chart in figure 8 shows where Akhbar Point Inc’ sales come from.

Pie Chart

4. Gantt chart

Gantt charts illustrate project schedules. The horizontal axis represents the time-frame for the project in days, weeks, months or years. This chart displays each project task as a bar on the vertical axis. The length of the bar depends on the starting and ending date of the task, but sometimes there is also a vertical line for the current date. Project managers usually use Gantt charts to monitor the progress and completion status of each task.

Gantt Chart

5. Scatter plot

Scatter plots use dots to depict the relationship between two different variables. Someone might use a scatter plot graph to show the relationship between a person’s height and weight, for example.

The process involves plotting one variable along the horizontal axis and the other variable along the vertical axis. The resulting scatter plot demonstrates how much one variable affects the other. If there is no correlation, the dots appear in random places on the graph. If there is a strong correlation, the dots are close together and form a line through the graph.

Imagine you’re studying the relationship between study hours and exam scores. Each student’s data point on the plot represents their study hours and their score. You can see if there’s a pattern – do students who study more tend to score higher? It’s like scattering breadcrumbs on a map to see if there’s a path.

Scatter Graph

The linear relationship is strong if the points are close to a straight line, except in the case of a horizontal line where there is no relationship. If we think that the points show a linear relationship, we would like to draw a line on the scatter plot.

6. Waterfall chart

When you want to visualize how an initial value is affected by intermediate positive or negative values, leading to a final value, a waterfall chart is ideal. A waterfall chart is a graphical tool primarily used to show the collective influence of successive positive and negative variables on an initial starting point. It’s commonly used in financial analysis to show how starting revenue or profit changes due to factors like expenses, taxes, or investments. It’s like following the flow of a stream – each step in the waterfall represents a change in value, leading to the final result.

In other words, waterfall charts reflect variance over time.Waterfall charts are helpful when illustrating financial statements, analyzing profit and loss and comparing earnings. You might use this chart to highlight the budget versus the amount spent. Positive and negative values usually follow a color code to show how the value increases or decreases due to a series of changes over time.

Waterfall Chart

7. Funnel Chart

The funnel chart! Imagine you’re tracking the sales process, from leads to conversions. A funnel chart visualizes this journey, showing the progressive reduction of leads at each stage of the sales pipeline.

At the top of the funnel, you have a lot of leads or potential customers. As you move down the funnel, some leads drop off for various reasons – maybe they’re not interested or they’re not the right fit. The chart’s width represents the number of leads at each stage, so it’s wider at the top and narrower at the bottom.

Funnel charts are great for identifying where leads are dropping off and pinpointing areas for improvement in your sales process. They’re like looking through an actual funnel – you can see how many leads are flowing through each stage and where they might be getting stuck or leaking out.

Overall, funnel charts help businesses visualize and optimize their sales pipelines, leading to more efficient and effective conversion processes.

Funnel Chart

Remember, the best chart for your data depends on what story you want to tell and who you’re telling it to. So, pick the one that speaks the language of your data and your audience! Thanks for reading this article.

Also Read : Simple and Easy way to close Income Statement in Business Central

Also Read : How to Prepare Financial G/L Budget in Microsoft Business Central ?

Syed Haseeb
Author: Syed Haseeb

Sponsored : Professional Plus

Related Posts

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *