Examples and Tips
When not to use a bar chart
We found this bar chart on page 27 of PwC's Family Business Survey 2007/08 [PDF 1.1Mb]
PwC has fallen into the trap of using a graph to present reference material. Reference data - like survey results - is more accurately and conveniently read from a simple table, rather than a graph. Putting such data on a graph merely creates a puzzle for the reader to work out.
Set the data out in a simple table, as in Table 1. This allows the reader to quickly compare data both across rows and down columns.
Source: PwC's Family Business Survey 2007/08, page 27
To make the page more interesting, take a selection of the data and create a single graph, telling an explicit, eye-catching story, as in Graph 1 below.