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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello Steven,

I ran across this article on Chord Charts.  I found the a little difficult to interpret.  Can you shed some light and provide your opinion on the chart.  The article is at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/charts-graphs-make-your-reporting-stand-out-part-1-chord-simon-james

Posts: 851
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Scott,

Chord charts can be useful when used and designed properly. They are strictly useful for showing relationships between a single set of categorical items. For example, the New York Times used a chord chart during the 2012 presidential campaign to show the number of times that candidates referred to one another. In that case, the single categorical variable was presidential candidates and the connections between them indicated the number of references to one another. The article that you cited suggested that chord charts could be used for multiple categorical variables, such as salespeople and quarters of the year, but there are much better ways to display data of this type. Chord charts decrease in perceptual effectiveness as the number of items along the circumference and the complexity of the connections increase, as you could see in one of the article's cluttered examples. This problem can be somewhat alleviated when chord charts are viewed online, however, by enabling the ability to select a particular item to highlight connections to it only.

Stephen Few
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