A pie chart is a circular chart divided into wedge-like sectors, illustrating proportion. Each wedge represents a proportionate part of the whole, and the total value of the pie is always 100 percent.
Pie charts can make the size of portions easy to understand at a glance. They're widely used in business presentations and education to show the proportions among a large variety of categories including expenses, segments of a population, or answers to a survey.
How to Create a Pie Chart
- Start with what you want to illustrate. The main topic will be the title of your chart.
- Gather the data. Pie charts depict percentages. Make sure your percentages add up to 100% and get rid of any rounding issues that would make the total something other than 100%. SmartDraw allows you to write the percentage directly into a pie chart template or you can drag the edge of a wedge to make it bigger or smaller.
- Consider creating a legend. If a wedge is too small to hold text, you can create a label and draw a line identifying the appropriate slice. Alternatively, you can create a key that shows what each colour represents.
Don't use a pie chart if the values of the wedges are close to each other and it's important to see the differences. For example, 32%, 33% and 35% will look pretty even at a glance when illustrated on a pie chart. Using a bar chart will make the differences more obvious.