Choosing a chart type
BIRT Studio provides a wide array of chart types that you can use in a report design. After you insert a chart, the first step is to choose the most suitable chart type for the data. You can use any chart type to display most data, but the data is easier to read when you choose a chart type that has the best visual characteristics for a particular set of data.
For example, to show what percentage each product line contributes to a company’s total sales, use a pie chart, which is ideal for showing how parts relate to a whole. To compare the sales of each product line in the current year and the previous year, use a bar chart, which supports side-by-side comparisons. To show how each product line has been selling over the course of five years, a line chart is appropriate for displaying trends in linear data.
Another item to consider when choosing a chart type is the number of data values to display. Some charts, such as scatter charts, reveal trends more clearly when there are more data values. Other charts, such as pie charts, are more effective when there are fewer data values. For example, the pie chart in Figure 8-6 is difficult to read, because it displays too many data values.
Figure 8-6  
The following sections describe the chart types BIRT Studio supports. Several of the chart types include subtypes.

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