Steve Fenton


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Unpeeling pie charts

For those of you still keen on using pie charts, let’s embrace those big blobs of colour and do something cool with them. We’re going to unpeel a bunch of them. So, what’s the use of unpeeling pie charts – and how do we do it? Before unpeeling Before you unpeel a pie chart, you […]

Pie chart conversion

I know that I have a bit of a routine. It goes a bit like this… stumble across a pie chart, show how the information would be better handled by a simple column chart, repeat. Well this week I stumbled across the pie charts below, which answer the question “would you invest in this initial […]

Pie charts and thinking speed

We are using live monitoring of our website pages, and of our website components, to find performance problems in our application. This means we know why our web application is slow as soon as anything breaches a threshold. Very often, we find something that is draining too much CPU from our servers. Brains are a […]

Pie charts – The quick version

This pie chart example is based on an article posted yesterday on the Google Testing Blog, a very interesting article but with one mistake. No Yes Notes I have had to estimate the true values of the three items with no value label The most likely question the chart will be answering is “what are […]

Did I ever mention pie charts?

It has been a while hasn’t it. However, it is sometimes a good thing to remind ourselves of why pie charts are best avoided. This particular example came from a great blog post. The chart describes version adoption for a particular piece of software. Despite the pie chart not following any of the best practices […]

Can labels save pie charts?

I recently received this interesting question through the contact form. I always relish an opportunity to challenge my assumptions and opinions on pie charts – even though I appear to be a bit of a zealot. One day, I may even be convinced that I am wrong. Here’s the question: “It seems to me that […]

Lloyds show off leggera charts

I haven’t mentioned pie charts for a while, but Lloyds Bank have plastered this advert everywhere with their CD-shaped pie chart (also known as Leggera Charts). It is worth pointing out how rubbish it is. Even if it wasn’t a true fact that pie charts are never the right chart to display your data, they […]

When to avoid using percentages

Percentages can be absolutely brilliant. They can remove a ton of distractions and questions and give you a strong indication of some numbers. For example, it is handy to know that 30% of your visitors are browsing using Internet Explorer and 4% are using Opera. This is probably easier to grasp as a percentage rather […]

Response to pie chart comment

I received a message from Kester Takayama, which was a well written note in defence of the pie chart. Kester correctly notes that adding the third-place party to the first-place or second-place party doesn’t in itself create a government because they still may not have an overall majority. He also correctly pointed out that while […]