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Visualize your data - line chart
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16. Line Chart - Summary


Your data visualization skills are growing – you’ve added the line chart to your repertoire!

Before we move on, let’s have a quick recap of how we use a line chart to show change over time.

Line chart

As you build a line chart, remember:

  • You don't have to set zero as the baseline.
  • Don't hide missing values – i.e. by connecting points with a solid line through the missing values. This gives the impression that the data for that time did not change. Instead, connect the points with a dashed line, or don’t connect the points at all.
  • Don't use line charts for unordered data (i.e. data that contains nominal variables).
  • Be aware of aspect ratios; they can change how readers interpret your chart. When in doubt, use the "banking to 45 degrees" rule.
  • Make the data stand out by changing the color and thickness of the line.
  • To give context to the data, add value labels to the points.
  • Use annotations to help readers focus on your story.