Basic Charts

There are many basic visualization types. Which one you use depends upon the kind of data you are displaying, how you want people to engage with it, and the kind of story you are trying to tell.
Image created by Andrew V. Abela (2020)
Some of the most common types of data visualization chart and graph formats include:

Bar Chart

Bar charts are one of the most common data visualizations. You can use them to quickly compare data across categories, highlight differences, show trends and outliers, and reveal historical highs and lows at a glance. Bar charts are especially effective when you have data that can be split into multiple categories.
The line chart, or line graph, connects several distinct data points, presenting them as one continuous evolution. Use line charts to view trends in data, usually over time (like stock price changes over five years or website page views for the month). The result is a simple, straightforward way to visualize changes in one value relative to another.

Pie Chart

Pie charts are powerful for adding detail to other visualizations. Alone, a pie chart doesn’t give the viewer a way to quickly and accurately compare information. Since the viewer has to create context on their own, key points from your data are missed. Instead of making a pie chart the focus of your dashboard, try using them to drill down on other visualizations.
Scatter plots are an effective way to investigate the relationship between different variables, showing if one variable is a good predictor of another, or if they tend to change independently. A scatter plot presents lots of distinct data points on a single chart. The chart can then be enhanced with analytics like cluster analysis or trend lines.