Line Charts

Displays information as a series of data points connected by straight line segments

Usage

A line chart is used to show information that changes over time. Line charts are created by plotting a series of several points and connecting them with a straight line.

Used for
  • Show trends over time and compare several continous data sets
  • Plot data at regular intervals connected by lines
  • Track changes over short and long periods

Type

Line chart

Line chart

Line chart with forecast

It joins a line graph for observed past data, and a range area chart for future predictions.

Line chart with forecast

Usage

Avoid individual data markers with numbers

Showing individual data markers can reduce the readability of the chart.

Avoid individual data markers with numbers

Use maximum three categories

Plotting too many lines on the same chart gives a confusing picture and defeats the purpose.

Use maximum three categories

Using secondary Y-axis

Incase of secondary Y-axis, following guidelines should be followed:

  • Secondary Y-axis should only be used if the type of values is different
  • If the range of both the axes is close to each other, use proportional intervals

Note: Secondary Y-axis should be used sparsely as interpreting data to different axes might be confusing and difficult.

Using secondary Y-axis

Showing trend with sentiment

The trend line can have sentiment colors to show positive and negative values.

howing trend with sentiment

Line chart vs. Bar chart

Line chart is preferred over bar chart to

  • Compare changes over the same period of time for multiple categories
  • Compare trend line for multiple categories
Line chart vs. Bar chart


Was this page helpful?