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Pie Charts - Market Research

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Pie Charts - Market Research

It is becoming increasingly accepted that, where possible, pie charts should be avoided when representing the majority of market research data. One of the major aims of market research is to collect and interpret data, and then present it back to clients in a clear and well-communicated format – an aim which is difficult to achieve with Pie Charts due to the fact that humans cannot accurately compare data which is not order along a single visual dimension. In essence, humans are far better at judging things like length and temperature, but we are far less adept at accurately judging the difference between visual areas – which is precisely what a pie chart involves.

Pie Charts Market Research

The pie charts above are illustrative of this issue. It is very difficult to judge the relative proportions of each slice of the pie, and thus difficult to judge the most popular response. Conversely, the bar charts – which utilise the exact same data – are easy to understand.  Even when the data is not lined up in order, it is easy to see which response was chosen the most.

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