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.
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.