The bar chart is the workhorse of data visualization and often the best way to visualize data. This leads many chart purists and haters to tweet that your visualization "should have been a bar chart." From the Godfather: ”There's a strand of the data viz world that argues that everything could be a bar chart. That's possibly true but also possibly a world without joy.“ -Harvard Business Review
Bar charts are flexible and have many variants.
Bar charts are good for:
- Being a good default when you give up on other forms/a workhorse
- Comparing a few items
- Revealing patterns in what are essentially tables
Common mistakes with bar charts:
- Forgetting to zero-baseline
- Putting in a meaningless order
In the wild:
More examples of bar charts
This could be a wiki we update all year, possibly with comments.