What Are the Best Times To Use a Donut Chart?

The ability to effectively represent data is a fundamental skill in today’s data-driven world. Among the array of data visualization tools, donut charts stand out for their unique properties and usage. Do you fully understand what a donut chart is and when best to use one? Keep reading to discover more and donut chart examples.

Understanding the Donut Chart and How To Use It

Three donuts on a table where the middle one is bitten

A donut chart is a variation of the traditional pie chart, with a blank center. This hole turns the pie into a hollow donut, hence the name. Used correctly, it efficiently represents percentages or proportions of a whole, making it an important tool in the presentation and analysis of data.

What separates the donut chart from the pie chart is not just its aesthetic difference. The donut chart offers some specific utilization benefits. For instance, it can represent more than one data series through concentric rings.

The center hole of the donut chart also offers functional roles aside from distinguishing it from a pie chart. It can be used to include additional information or indicators relevant to the represented data.

Moreover, donut chart examples can demonstrate how it better suits digital platforms compared to the traditional pie chart. Their hollow center allows for more efficient use of space on the screen, a feature particularly useful when visualizing data on small screen devices.

Distinctive Characteristics of a Donut Chart

Donut charts are unique in their features. One of the key characteristics of a donut chart is its use of a circular shape to convey data. This circular representation is eye-catching and offers intuitiveness in understanding the part-to-whole relationship in the data.

This chart also uses different colors or patterns to differentiate between the data segments. These visual cues enhance data differentiation and understanding. They make it easy for the viewers to identify, compare, and contrast the different data sectors at an easy glance.

Another noteworthy characteristic of donut charts is the possibility of representing multiple data series. With multiple concentric rings, a single donut chart can hold more information than a typical pie chart, adding another layer of complexity to the data representation.

The last characteristic we’ll discuss is the capability to incorporate additional information in the center of the chart. This space can be used to summarize the data or provide critical insights related to the data set being displayed.

Best Scenarios To Use a Donut Chart

Choosing the best data visualization tool largely depends on the type of data you want to present. Donut charts best serve when you want to compare the parts-to-whole relationship among categories. They are perfect in instances where you want to depict proportions or percentages of a total.

If your dataset includes multiple data series that complement each other, donut charts can also be a useful tool. They can effectively illustrate complex datasets with different layers, which other charts, like the pie chart, cannot.

Donut charts also shine when you need to present comparative data over a period. It’s much easier to visualize the growth or decrease of different categories over time using concentric donut charts.

Finally, when you need to use a small space more efficiently, for example in a dashboard, donut charts prove useful. Their compact design and reading aesthetics accommodate better-confined spaces.

Altogether, donut charts stand out for their visual appeal and multi-dimensional data analysis capabilities. In the right scenarios, they are a powerful tool for data visualization.

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