How to make a good Pie chart – a pie chart story

decembrie 12, 2018

This article is not about re-inventing any pie chart or to give it another shape. It’s about a list of a few articles that helped me during the time.

The story of the pie chart for me has started once I read one of the books written by Stephen Few. Even though, I had some background stories about the usage of the pie chart I didn’t stop using them by the end of the book (around 2016). And the reason why I was using it is just that the business people were still asking for it.

Anyway, during the past years, the usage of the pie chart is smaller and smaller.


One of the first articles that I would ever recommend is about the pie chart and some data visualization tips and tricks. The article belongs to Stephen Few and it has been published in August 2007 – Save the Pies for Dessert.

“Despite the obvious nature of a pie charts message, bar graphs provide a much better means to compare the magnitudes of each part.” and this is the main idea that needs to be in your mind when you start designing

Even if the size of the paper is not a 5 minutes read I strongly recommend reading it with attention.

My second recommendation on this topic is a new article from the guys from that has been published a few days ago – “A Bar Chart and a Pie Chart Living in Harmony“.

Here we have a cool article that summarizes the best practices of this field really briefly.

Also, there you can find the best short presentation about the pie chart approach. That can be used as  a breaking point for any data visualization presentation or even as an argument when you deal with this issue.

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