You’re probably already aware that people understand numbers much more easily when displayed in visual form. But what happens when these visuals are reduced to the size of a screen that’s often smaller than the palm of your hand? The precious real estate available on a mobile phone or tablet means that choosing the right mobile data visualization is even more crucial than ever before.
If your data is visualized efficiently and intuitively, it will be easier for your users to understand and, in the long run, will help them make better business decisions. With that being said, here’s a list of the best charts and graphs you should be using for your mobile data visualization efforts.
1.) Column Chart
Column charts are the most widely used charts for consuming quantitative information based on a single dimension (products, employees, regions, etc) with one or multiple like-measures (sales, costs, etc). Both bar and column charts are extremely effective for representing quantitative information using the relative bar size against a common axis and scale to provide powerful comparative analysis.
2.) Stacked Column Chart
Stacked column charts are effective for displaying multiple parts of a whole (similar to a pie chart), but across a series. A stacked column chart emphasizes the whole, while enabling you to visualize the distribution of values within each bar.
3.) Combination Chart
A combination chart works similar to a multiple series column chart with an option to transform one series into a line trend rather than a bar. The purpose for implementing a combination chart is to draw attention to a series where a trend is present. A combination chart is typically used when there is a calculation or target trend that corresponds to the accompanying bars.
4.) Area Chart
An area chart is a line chart with extended shading to emphasize the two dimensional space of a trend. While one or two series can effectively communicate this information, as the number of series increase, the shading can cause interference as the shaded areas overlap. An area chart’s assigned micro-chart is a shaded Sparkline that works exactly like the regular Sparkline with additional shading.
5.) Line Chart
Line charts are best applied for consecutive interval metrics which are typically time-based (month, day, etc). The benefit of using a line chart is its effectiveness in communicating trends over time.
6.) Pie Chart
These oldies but goodies can be implemented as an alternative to a single series column or bar chart, though pie charts should display all parts (slices) required to represent a whole. As the volume of pie chart slices (dimension values) increase, the difficulty of interpreting information and deriving value from the chart decreases.
7.) Comparison Chart
A comparison chart works by showing the difference between a metric and the previously targeted goal for that metric. It provides viewers with a quick method of understanding current performance in terms of anticipated goals.
8.) Waterfall Chart
These charts show the effects of data (cumulative measurements) and is used to understand the impacts of positive or negative values on a single, initial measure.
9.) Scatter Plot Chart
A scatter chart plots data points that are derived from two dimensions, which also serve as the measure for the x- and y-axis. Scatter plots are used when the variables that exist cannot necessarily be controlled, and they serve as way to get a visual representation of correlation among two dimensions or measures.
10.) Bubble Chart
Often considered a variation of scatter plot charts, bubble charts display three dimensions of data. Two of the dimensions are displayed via the bubble’s x- and y-axis dimensions, and the third represents the data point’s size.
These ten charts offer those tasked with data visualization efforts a wide variety of charts and graphs with which to display their data for mobile users. Use this guide to determine which chart or graph is most appropriate to display your data and elicit the most understanding from your users on the mobile screen.
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