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For different methods of analysis there are different types of charts that work best. For example, bar charts are good for comparisons, while line charts work better for trends and relationships. Scatter plot charts are good for relationships and distributions, but pie charts should be used only for simple compositions—never for comparisons or distributions.
There are some overlaps. The final choice of chart type depends on a few more factors:
•How many variables do you want to show in a single chart? One, two, three, many?
•How many items (data points) will you display for each variable? Only a few or many?
•Will you display values over a period of time, or among items or groups?