# 32 Chart Types Explained

With so many different chart types of charts to choose, it's hard to know which is best for your goal. Here are 32 different chart types to help you decide which to use for your use case.

### How to know which chart type to choose

There are a few factors to consider when deciding what chart type to use to visualize your data:

**The nature of the data**: Different chart types are better suited for different types of data. For example, bar charts are well suited for categorical data, while line charts are well suited for continuous data.**The message you want to convey**: Different chart types can emphasize different aspects of your data and convey different messages. For example, a pie chart can be used to show the proportions of different categories, while a scatter plot can be used to show the relationship between two variables.**The audience**: Consider who your audience is and what they might be interested in. Different chart types can be more or less effective at conveying information to different audiences.**The purpose of the chart**: Think about why you are creating the chart and what you want to achieve with it. Different chart types can be more or less effective at achieving different goals.

There are no hard and fast rules for selecting a chart type, and sometimes it may be necessary to experiment with different types to see which one works best for your data and your goals. However, the above factors can serve as a guide to help you choose the most appropriate chart type for your needs.

**Here is a list of 32 chart types, along with a brief summary and example of each:**

**Line chart**: A line chart is used to display the trend of data over a period of time. It consists of a series of data points connected by straight lines, and is often used to show the movement of a variable over time. For example, a line chart could be used to show the trend in stock prices over a period of several years.**Bar chart**: A bar chart is used to compare the size or frequency of different categories of data. It consists of vertical or horizontal bars, each representing a different category, and is often used to compare the distribution of data across different groups. For example, a bar chart could be used to compare the sales of different products over a period of time.**Pie chart**: A pie chart is used to show the proportions of a whole. It consists of a circle divided into wedges, each representing a different category, and is often used to show the distribution of data across different categories. For example, a pie chart could be used to show the percentage of a company's sales that come from each of its product lines.**Scatter plot**: A scatter plot is used to visualize the relationship between two variables. It consists of a set of data points plotted on a coordinate grid, and is often used to identify patterns or correlations in the data. For example, a scatter plot could be used to show the relationship between a person's height and weight.**Box plot**: A box plot, also known as a box-and-whisker plot, is used to show the distribution of data. It consists of a box representing the middle 50% of the data, with whiskers extending from the box to show the range of the data. For example, a box plot could be used to show the distribution of test scores for a class.**Histogram**: A histogram is used to show the frequency of data within different ranges, or bins. It consists of a series of bars, each representing a different bin, and is often used to show the distribution of continuous data. For example, a histogram could be used to show the distribution of ages within a population.**Stem-and-leaf plot**: A stem-and-leaf plot is used to show the distribution of data by breaking each value into a stem (representing the tens digit) and a leaf (representing the units digit). It is often used to show the distribution of small sets of data, and can be a useful alternative to a histogram for certain types of data.**Pareto chart**: A Pareto chart is used to show the relative importance of different categories of data. It consists of a bar chart and a line chart, with the bars representing the different categories and the line showing the cumulative total. For example, a Pareto chart could be used to show the most common causes of customer complaints.**Bubble chart**: A bubble chart is used to show the relationship between three variables. It consists of a set of data points plotted on a coordinate grid, with the size of each data point representing a third variable. For example, a bubble chart could be used to show the relationship between a company's sales, profit, and market share.**Gantt chart**: A Gantt chart is used to show the progress of a project over time. It consists of a timeline with bars representing the different tasks in the project, and is often used to track the status of the project and identify any potential**Tree map**: A tree map is used to show the hierarchical structure of data and the relative size of different categories. It consists of nested rectangles, each representing a different category, and is often used to show the distribution of data within a large, complex data set. For example, a tree map could be used to show the market share of different product categories within a company.**Heat map**: A heat map is used to show the intensity or density of data across a continuous range. It consists of a color-coded matrix, with the color representing the intensity or density of the data at a particular point. For example, a heat map could be used to show the concentration of a particular chemical in different parts of a sample.**Choropleth map**: A choropleth map is used to show the distribution of data across a geographical area. It consists of a map with different regions colored to represent the data for that region. For example, a choropleth map could be used to show the population density of different countries.**Flow chart**: A flow chart is used to show the flow of steps or processes in a system or process. It consists of a series of boxes and arrows, with the boxes representing the different steps or processes and the arrows showing the flow between them. For example, a flow chart could be used to show the steps in a manufacturing process or the flow of information in a business process.**Sankey diagram**: A Sankey diagram is used to show the flow of energy, materials, or other quantities through a system. It consists of a series of boxes and arrows, with the width of the arrows representing the quantity flowing through them. For example, a Sankey diagram could be used to show the flow of energy through a power plant or the flow of materials through a supply chain.**Radar chart**: A radar chart, also known as a spider chart or polar chart, is used to compare the values of multiple variables for a single data point. It consists of a series of axes radiating out from a central point, with each axis representing a different variable. For example, a radar chart could be used to compare the performance of a product across a range of different characteristics.**Waterfall chart**: A waterfall chart is used to show the cumulative effect of a series of positive and negative values on a starting value. It consists of a series of bars, with the height of each bar representing the value of the change and the direction of the bar indicating whether it is a positive or negative change. For example, a waterfall chart could be used to show the impact of different revenue and expense items on a company's net income.**Matrix chart**: A matrix chart is used to show the relationships between different elements in a data set. It consists of a grid of rows and columns, with the rows representing one set of elements and the columns representing another set. For example, a matrix chart could be used to show the market share of different products in different regions.**Funnel chart**: A funnel chart is used to show the stages in a process and the percentage of data that passes through each stage. It consists of a series of vertical bars, with the width of each bar representing the percentage of data at that stage and the bars getting progressively narrower as the process moves forward. For example, a funnel chart could be used to show the conversion rate of visitors to a website at different stages of the purchasing process.**Gage chart**: A gage chart is used to show a single value within a predetermined range. It consists of a circular or linear scale, with a needle or marker indicating the current value on the scale. For example, a gage chart could be used to show the level of a company's inventory or the performance of a machine.**Marimekko chart**: A Marimekko chart is used to show the relationship between two variables and the proportions of different categories within that relationship. It consists of a series of stacked bars, with the length of each bar representing one variable and the width representing the other. For example, a Marimekko chart could be used to show the market share of different products within different regions.**Sunburst chart**: A sunburst chart is used to show the hierarchical structure of a data set and the proportions of different categories within that structure. It consists of a series of nested rings, with the innermost ring representing the root of the hierarchy and the outer rings representing the child categories. For example, a sunburst chart could be used to show the structure of a company's product lines and the market share of each product within its category.**Word cloud**: A word cloud is used to show the relative frequency of different words in a text. It consists of a group of words, with the size of each word representing its frequency in the text. For example, a word cloud could be used to show the most common words used in a social media feed or the terms used most frequently in a document.**Dorling cartogram**: A Dorling cartogram is a type of map that is used to show the distribution of data across a geographical area. It consists of a map with the sizes of the regions proportional to the data values for that region. For example, a Dorling cartogram could be used to show the population density of different countries or the relative importance of different markets to a company.**Sparkline**: A sparkline is a small, lightweight chart used to show trends or patterns in data. It consists of a series of data points connected by a line or other graphical element, and is often used to show the movement of a variable over time within a small space, such as within a table or in the margin of a document.**Candlestick chart**: A candlestick chart is a type of financial chart used to show the price movements of a security, commodity, or currency. It consists of a series of vertical bars, with the body of the bar representing the range of prices for the period and the wicks representing the high and low prices. Candlestick charts are often used to show the price movements of stocks, futures, or other securities.**Radar plot**: A radar plot is a type of chart used to show the distribution of data across multiple dimensions. It consists of a series of axes radiating out from a central point, with the data plotted on the axes according to the value of each variable. Radar plots are often used to show the performance of a product or system across a range of different characteristics.**Slope chart**: A slope chart is a type of chart that is used to show the trend of data over time. It consists of a series of data points connected by a diagonal line, with the slope of the line indicating the direction and magnitude of the trend. Slope charts are often used to show the trend of a variable over a long period of time, such as the trend in the population of a country or the trend in the sales of a product.**Multivariate chart**: A multivariate chart is a type of chart that is used to show the relationships between multiple variables. It consists of a series of data points plotted on a coordinate grid, with each axis representing a different variable and the position of the data points indicating the values of the variables. Multivariate charts are often used to identify patterns or correlations in data sets with multiple variables.**Dendrogram**: A dendrogram is a type of chart that is used to show the hierarchical structure of a data set and the relationships between the different elements. It consists of a tree-like diagram, with the branches representing the different elements and the length of the branches indicating the distance or similarity between them. Dendrograms are often used to show the clustering of data or the classification of living organisms.**Link chart**: A link chart is a type of chart that is used to show the relationships between different elements in a data set. It consists of a series of nodes connected by lines or arcs, with the nodes representing the different elements and the lines indicating the relationships between them. Link charts are often used to show the structure of a network or the flow of information in a system.**Parallel coordinates plot**: A parallel coordinates plot is a type of chart that is used to show the relationships between multiple variables. It consists of a set of vertical axes, with each axis representing a different variable and the position of the data points along the axes indicating the values of the variables. Parallel coordinates plots are often used to identify patterns or correlations in data sets with multiple variables.

It's important to note that there are many different chart types that can be used to visualize data, and the appropriate type will depend on the nature of the data and the message you want to convey. The chart types I have listed above are just a selection of the many types that are available, and new chart types are constantly being developed.