We’ve mentioned that column charts are great for presenting information. But what sets them apart from other choices?
Here are a few reasons you should always consider this type of chart:
1. They’re easy to make.
With minimal requirements for how you format your data, you can create column charts quickly and on the fly. You don’t need to go through a complicated process.
The less time you spend creating a chart, the more time you can spend perfecting it.
2. They’re easy to understand.
Most people have been reading column charts since grade school. They’re intuitively easy to read, especially if they’re well-labeled.
Because charts exist to share information quickly, that’s a big plus for column charts. It doesn’t get much easier.
3. Up is intuitively connected with “more.”
We tend to think of things that are better being higher on a scale, and you can use that to your advantage with a column chart.
The more information you can share using these types of implications, the better.
4. They make comparisons simple.
Because most people are so familiar with column charts, they’re very comfortable making comparisons between values. Even in a bar chart, this might feel a bit strange to some people.
But column charts make it easy to compare different values. And because that’s what charts are for, that’s a big bonus!
It’s worth noting that there are a few cases in which other graphs will serve you better than a column graph. For example, a stacked column chart is good for showing proportion, but many people find pie charts easier to understand.
If you want to show change over time, a line graph is probably best. And while a column graph might seem like a good idea for charting project completion, a Gantt chart is likely better.