Understanding and using reference lines – the bullet chart

Reference lines are typically used for providing a visual comparison against benchmark values. Imagine having a vertical bar chart showing product sales. Further, imagine that these products have a budget value that they are supposed to achieve. Now, if we are able to show a small line which represents the budget thresholds for each of the products, then we can provide a quick visual display to see which products are not exceeding target and which products are exceeding the target. The chart type which is typically used to do a target versus actual comparison is called a bullet chart.

Bullet charts were developed by Stephen Few. A bullet chart is an extension of the regular bar chart, where ...

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