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Data at Work: Best practices for creating effective charts and information graphics in Microsoft® Excel® by Jorge Camões

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9. Parts of a Whole: Composition Charts

As all parents know, no two slices of cake are exactly the same. In the eyes of children, their piece is always smaller than the others’ pieces, which triggers the inevitable cry of “It’s not fair!” Evaluating the actual size of the slice is one of our first failed experiments in our assessment of proportions, something that will never change. Just like our irresistible fascination with all things circular.1

1 Few, Stephen. “Our Irresistible Fascination with All Things Circular.” Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter. El Dorado Hills, CA: Perceptual Edge. 2010.

There is another reason that explains our everlasting love for proportions. Some charts, such as scatter plots, are very abstract, while others ...

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