I'm working on a questionnaire with some multiple choice questions.

Example: Which continents are you planning to visit?

  1. Africa
  2. Asia
  3. etc.

The next will be to refactor the current analytics that are a mix of bars and pies charts, that should be used by non-expert (so they must be kept simple).

Right now the graphs are showing the total number of answered questionnaires with percentages and numbers that don't make much sense (e.g. of 10 questionnaire 7 want to go to Africa and 5 to Asia).

So, how is it possible to tackle this conceptual problem?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I see no problem. In this case it is clearly allowed that the number of answers can exceed the number of people. I'd just use a bar or Cleveland dot chart and label it simply as numbers of answers, and state the total number of people too. If you want percents, it is up to you which total you use as reference. There are enough arguments against using pie charts any way and being queasy about what is the total should if anything add to them. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    May 12 '15 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ Don't use pies: stats.stackexchange.com/questions/8974/problems-with-pie-charts I know people love them, but it is not really a good idea... $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    May 12 '15 at 7:41

A simple way to visualize would be through a bar chart where the y axis shows the number of times an answer was cited.

enter image description here


bubble graph in tableau is a viable path.

each option corresponds to a bubble, with diameter proportional to the frequency of the option being chosen.

eg: https://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/?p=1612 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_chart

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This lacks a comment on why bubbles are, or could be, preferable to bars. People are demonstrably better at interpreting lengths than areas, so although bubbles seem widely regarded as cute in some fields, boring old bars are arguably easier to think about. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Nov 3 '15 at 9:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.