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Pie Chart

In some statistical circles, Pie Charts have fallen out of favor.  Why?

From Introduction to Probability and Statistics Using R :
  • [page 30]  "These [Pie Graphs] can be done with R and R Commander, but they have fallen out of favor in recent years because researchers have determined that while the eye is good at judging linear measures, it is notoriously bad at judging relative areas (such as those displayed by a pie graph).  Pie charts are consequently a very bad way of displaying information.  A bar chart or dot chart is a preferable way of displaying qualitative data."

From UseR Lattice Multivariate Data Visualization with R (Sarkar) :
  • [page 252]  "The lattice package does not have a high-level function to draw pie charts because the information encoded by a pie chart can  be conveyed more effectively by other graphs."
  • [page 57]  "Bar charts (along with pie charts) are among the most popular graphical representations of tables.  However, they are less useful than dot plots in most situations.  [...]  Bar charts can actually mislead when the 'origin' is arbitrary, as they convey the incorrect impression that the quantity encoded by the length (or area) of the bar has some meaning.  Another popular but questionable practice is to add confidence intervals to bar charts; dot plots with confidence intervals are almost invariably easier to interpret."
  • [page 57]  lattice does not contain a function that produces pie charts.  This is entirely by choice, as pie charts are a highly undesirable form of graphical representation (see Cleveland (1985) for a discussion), and their use is strongly discouraged."

"The only thing worse than a pie chart is more than one pie chart."

Thoughts on nested pie charts ...

Taken from an article by Jonah Goldberg (03JAN2015)

"The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country.  USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand the New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie chart format.  The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country, and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much. The National Inquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store."