An Illustrated Guide to Data Literacy:

Pie Charts

Welcome to our new comic series that explores a range of data literacy concepts. We follow Becky, who describes herself as a bit data-phobic, as she navigates tricky situations at her new job. She’ll learn to create effective charts, grasp statistical concepts and confidently clean data for analysis with the help of her faithful desk plant Fern. Let’s go!

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comic showing a boss asking Becky to show the state with the biggest proportion of sales before the morning meeting. Becky's plant tells her that a proportion is just a part-to-whole relationship. Becky tries to make a pie chart but there are 7 slices and the small differences between the states is indistinguishable. She decides that a pie chart works best when there's an easily recognizable segment like 25, 50 or 75%. A passing fly gives her the idea to make a bar chart instead and she presents the results successfully to her team.

If you know anyone who would enjoy following Becky’s journey becoming a confident data communicator, then please feel free to share this comic series!

photo of Alli Torban

Alli Torban is a contributor to Data Literacy LLC. She’s an Information Design Consultant based in Washington, D.C., and hosts the podcast Data Viz Today. Alli specializes in designing data visualizations for industry experts to help get their work seen and understood by a wider audience. She enjoys creating whimsical patterns and spending time with her husband and two daughters.