Salvaging the Pie

The poor, maligned 3D pie chart. He is so popular among the common folk, but put him next to his peers and his vacant stare betrays (not entirely unfounded) feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Sometimes the only way to address such feelings is to let go of your inhibitions and do something unexpected. He has value hidden away, we're sure of it. And so, for the third installment in our Data Looks Better Naked series, we are recommending that the 3D pie do what the bar chart and table have done before him: start stripping to see what he might be concealing.

Devour the Pie
Devour the Pie

There are a ton of articles out there explaining the disadvantages of pie charts, which is why they rarely turn up in our work. My good friend, Dan, is fond of saying, "You have three pie charts to use in your lifetime, so choose them wisely," however this article by Bruce Gabrielle makes some decent counterpoints worth considering (except the second point, pie charts are terrible at trends.) So if you've got a pie chart, consider if something else wouldn't be a better solution. Or you could just embrace it.

The slides for those interested: