What Makes a Pie Chart Compelling?

No, this is not another post about which chart or graph is best for data visualization. For that discussion, we have posts like this one: Why line charts are better than pie charts.

And nor is this about the history of the pie chart. See The First Pie Chart (yes, you can see the very first pie chart!).

What I’m aiming at in this particular post is that what makes a pie chart compelling is simply the data itself. Data visualization is about telling a story. Yes, it’s got to be dramatic, compelling, obvious, and, of course, truthful.

I’m saying this because I came across a pie chart diagram in my email. It was from September 21, 2010 when the firm Canaccord first released a “buy” recommendation on Apple stock (then trading at $356 a share – now at $629, nearly a doubling of the price in less than 2 years). Here it is:

Wow – is that data compelling or what? Look at the incredible profitability relative to the market share.

Yes, that’s a powerful pie chart.

And it’s because of the data.

Hubert Lee
The Dashboard Spy