When it comes to data, companies are realizing just how important the information of their past and present is to their future. While proper data management is crucial to gaining better insights into the inner workings of a company, having the right visuals are just as important to get a clearer understanding of this information. You could opt for the same old graph or just a printout with the facts, or you could stand out with a donut graph.
What is a donut graph?
A donut graph is a pie chart with the center cut out to be shaped like, as the name suggests, a pastry donut. It may seem simplistic, but it is actually tremendously helpful to avoid confusion around the area parameter that often trips people up when reading pie charts. Since graphs are meant to make complex data clearer and easier to understand, this is beneficial for business executives to make sense of their company’s operations.
When looking at a pie chart, it is easy to confuse the area of each slide with the entire pie, leading decision-makers to make deductions based on a visual cue rather than the input data. With the center removed, a donut graph encourages the reader to focus on the length of the arc instead and not compare it with the total area a circle would represent. Each slice of a donut chart represents different chunks of data, often color-coded for easy understanding.
How do I turn data into a donut graph?
A donut chart works on two dimensions, so users need to input two different sets of data to allow viewers to infer a common relationship. The first dimension is the attribute, and the second dimension is the value. For example, if you were to create an auto sales donut graph, the number of cars sold is the attribute, while the actual number is its value. Both dimensions are incredibly important because of the relationship between them. For someone reading this information off a spreadsheet, it could be easy to get lost in the rows and columns from the top of the page down.
One of the common queries raised about a donut chart is whether the values in the raw data need to add up to a set number. Yes, a donut graph is best used to represent parts of a whole, but this shouldn’t be confused with the need to add up to 100 like you may deal with in a pie chart or bar graph. Any value can be represented as a donut, as long as the values are in the sum of a whole or 100 percent. These charts can be created by selecting an entire data table and choosing the donut chart option from a dropdown menu. Values are then arranged from the highest to the lowest, or the longest to the shortest arc from the top clockwise.
What benefits are there to a donut graph?
A donut chart’s simple representation is its greatest asset. With a clear formula from a worksheet, any data series can become an easy-to-read format through a donut graph in real time. Donut charts can be drawn in different sizes and colors, placed within one another, and labeled within the chart area to save space, making them more interactive and giving readers a greater draw to understand a data report. Donut graphs allow decision-makers to see their analytics and insights more clearly, affording better evidence amongst these values to make the right calls. This can work across any dashboard or data range, painting the clear picture that some people need for visuals to truly make sense.