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October 29, 2023
4 min read

Top 5 Charts Every Business Should Use and Why

In a world where we collect lots of information, it's important to show it in a way that's easy to understand. Think of charts as picture stories that help us see what the information is telling us. Let's learn about the top 5 picture stories every business likes to use!

In today's data-driven world, businesses have access to more information than ever before. However, the challenge lies not just in gathering data but in presenting it effectively. Charts and graphs transform complex data sets into clear, concise visuals, making them indispensable tools for decision-making and communication. Let's dive into the top 5 charts that every business should be familiar with, and explore the unique insights they offer.

1. Bar Chart

Sales Numbers of each location
What it is

Bar charts represent data in rectangular bars, either vertically (column charts) or horizontally. The length of each bar corresponds to the value it represents.

Why use it
  • Comparing Stuff: Bar charts are great for looking at different amounts side by side.
  • Spotting Patterns: If you line up bars by dates, you can see how things change over time.
  • Example: Imagine a sneaker store using a bar chart to show which shoe sold the most each month or to see how their shoe sales stack up against another store.

2. Line Chart

Hours worked by project
What it is

Line charts plot data points on a grid and connect them with a line, making them perfect for showing data trends over a continuous interval or time period.

Why use it
  • Trend Analysis: Line charts excel in displaying trends over time.
  • Multiple Series Comparison: They can compare multiple datasets by using different lines.
  • Example: A company could use a line chart to track its revenue growth over several years or to compare its sales trends with industry benchmarks.

3. Pie Chart

Budget used in a month chart
What it is

Pie charts represent data in a circular format, with individual sections (or slices) showcasing proportional parts of the whole.

Why use it
  • Proportional Analysis: Pie charts are excellent for displaying percentage or proportional data.
  • Compact Representation: They can summarize a large data set in a visually pleasing manner.
  • Example: Businesses might use a pie chart to illustrate market share percentages or to break down expenditure categories in a budget.

4. Scatter Plot

Scatter plot in sports industry (nike.com)
What it is

Scatter plots display values for two variables using dots on a two-dimensional grid.

Why use it
  • Relationship Analysis: Scatter plots are used to determine relationships (or correlations) between two variables.
  • Outlier Identification: They can help businesses identify anomalies or outliers in data sets.
  • Example: A scatter plot might be used to analyze the relationship between advertising spend and sales revenue, helping marketers understand the return on investment.

5. Area Chart

Show difference of quantity with area chart
What it is

Area charts are similar to line charts but with the area below the line shaded or filled. They can be single or stacked to represent cumulative values.

Why use it
  • Volume Representation: Area charts visualize volume changes over time.
  • Multiple Data Representation: When stacked, they can compare multiple data sets.
  • Example: An e-commerce business might use a stacked area chart to display sales of different product categories over time, showing which products are the most popular and when.


While there are loads of different ways to show information with charts, these few types are super important for businesses. The best chart can help spot cool trends, point out chances to do something great, and help make smart moves. It's all about showing info in a way that's easy to get and makes a big impact. No matter how big or small, every business can get a lot from understanding these main chart types.

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