Should You Ever Use a Pie Chart?

The genesis of the Pie Chart :

Some scholars believe the pie chart may have been inspired by the use of circles in representing concepts in philosophy and mathematics. Playfair’s brother John was a highly regarded Enlightenment mathematician and scientist. It is likely that through John, William saw a divided circle used to display the component parts of a category. Mathematicians and philosophers used this type of illustration as far back as the 14th Century.


Today’s leading data visualization experts like Edward Tufte and Stephen Few dislike pie chart. Tufte writes that “A table is nearly always better than a dumb pie chart”, and in a long screed against the pie, Few admonishes data visualizers to “save the pies for dessert.”

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