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Five techniques to use ink wisely

If you’re working in the financial department of a company or just dealing with financial data, you may be familiar with the Previous-Budget-Actual bar chart. It’s frequently used, occupying critical presentation and dashboard space, but sadly it lacks data density, contributing only three observations.

Managers rarely have time to thoroughly explore financial presentations, that is why you need to make as much information available as quickly as possible — an easily readable data-dense visualization serves this purpose well. In my pursuit to make denser bar charts, I found five techniques that I will share here.

All the examples are made…


I had lots of fun doing the same chart with different tools, so I was looking for excuse to make more of that.

This time I decided to dive deeper into possibilities of those tools, and create something less usual than a boring stacked bar chart. Radial charts are far from best practices, so if a tool has them, we can consider it to be flexible enough — what hacks are needed to make those in Tableau! May this article serve you as a helpful reference if you’re considering illustrating your article with an awesome chart.

Some rules:

  • Data will…

Probably of the most often visualized datasets in the world are profit-loss statements of corporations month after month presented to executives in powerpoints. Millions of them are made and quickly thrown away faster than new Covid-19 case charts. It’s quite strange how few resources are there discussing visualizations of financial data.

Majority of those who do care about finance seem to favour waterfall charts (like this analyst) and for a good reason, because they provide insight a simple table does not have. Some utilize sankey or flow diagrams because they show flows of money in quite an intuitive way (cool…

Martynas Jočys

You can talk with me about economics, finance, philosophy, music, travel, meditation and charts. Visit me on beaeconomics.com.

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