An introduction to data visualization

To get started with using charts to visualize data, see the data visualization foundation article and data visualization color guidance.

Chart types

When using data visualization patterns to present data, choose the chart type that best shows the relationship between the data series. Charts can be used alone or in combinations of multiple charts.

Bar chart graphicBar chart graphic

A bar chart displays time based or categorical data series. Users can compare proportional data series on the same scale.

Line chart illustrationLine chart illustration

A line chart displays series of data points connected by lines. Users can compare many data series over a period of time.

Mixed chart illustrationMixed chart illustration

A mixed line and bar chart shows one data series as bars and one or more data series as lines. This helps users differentiate the data thanks to the distinct visual representation styles.

Area chart imageArea chart image

An area chart visualizes two or more series of data. It emphasizes the part-to-whole relationship of data over a period of time.

Pie/donut chart graphicPie/donut chart graphic

Pie and donut charts display portions of a whole unit so users can compare data points from a total set. A donut chart also includes a summary metric in the center of the chart.