Best Pie Chart Alternatives

We’ve all heard the sermons and lectures on the evils of pie charts, so why is it that they continue to be used in abundance? At Juice we’re regularly surprised by the use (and misuse) of pie charts in the market despite all the literature, blog posts, and funny tweets against them.

Perhaps there is some Illuminati connection to Pi and circles that ensures their existence. Whatever the reason, we felt it would be helpful to compile some of the best information on pie chart alternatives and share some examples. Special thanks to Cole Nussbaumer, Lee Feinberg, Nathan Yau, and Jorge Camoes for their always great work and examples.

  • When to use pie charts: Jorge Camoes does a great job in his blog post on the optimal number of categories in a pie chart. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s probably not what you’d think. Have you gotten Jorge's book yet?  Maybe now you're convinced. 
  • Preference: One of the arguments we often hear in favor of pie chart is due to preference.  This article talks about the importance of preference and how it correlates with performance.
  • Default Setting: Another observation we’ve made is that pie charts are often the first or default option, so they get used more often. Check out these posts on default setting alternatives:

If you need more direction in your quest to branch out from pie charts, check out the Juice resource page for more valuable ideas.