When it comes to showing proportions of whole, it's hard to beat the doughnut chart. It's an intuitive way to display the impact of categories on a whole. Our goal with this tool is help you leverage your existing data set to create a circular graph clearly demonstrating what's standing out in terms of size.
When we attempt to visualize data our first task should be to ask: "What's the right tool for the job?". After this short guide you'll be an expert in how to use doughnut charts for maximum impact, but also how to make the most of our free tools.
What is a Donut Chart Maker?
A donut chart is a circular graph, similar to a pie chart but with a hole in the middle. The center is left empty usually to provide important summary text in the center or to reduce visual distraction. Each section of the donut, corresponds to a category of data: the size of the slice shows the proportion that displays categories in relation to the whole.
What is a Donut Chart Used For?
A doughnut chart is a template used to compare the size of items as a percentage of a whole. They're commonly used for a list of percentages that displays categories of the whole. For example, a company might access a donut chart to show the distribution of its revenue among its different product lines.
Why Use A Donut Chart?
If you're dealing with proportions of a whole, or percentages, then a doughnut chart should be one of the graphs you consider. What factors should go into your decision?
Are Data Differences Minor?
One of the major drawbacks of doughnut charts is their legibility. While a doughnut chart template is beautiful for quickly showing dramatic differences, it's not the best for showing minor ones. In that case consider a bar chart.
Need More Context?
The center hole in a donut chart provides a design break that can draw in the viewer's attention to center text that spells out the important take-away. If so it's a better choice over a pie chart.
How Many Layers of Data?
A doughnut chart can allow for multiple series of data to be represented as multiple rings. However, more than 2 layers can quickly get overwhelming. For more layers prefer the Tree Map graph.
Need Extra Space for Labels?
A circular graph leaves extra room for a more expressive label. Use our tool to customize font size, font type, and font color to create labels.
Exploring Doughnut Chart Alternatives: Pie Charts and Other Chart Types
The doughnut chart is a great persuader when your data series depicts dramatic differences. However it tends to mute minor differences at first glance, even more than pie charts! Also when it comes to breaking down additional information, beyond 2 levels of an individual donut proportion color, analysis will quickly become impossible. Let's look at how other shapes can improve presentations.
Bar Charts: Better for Subtle Differences
These graphs use rectangular bars, where the length or height of each bar corresponds to a value. This simple comparison makes it much easier to organize smaller differences across categories. While they may lack the persuasive advertising power of doughnut chart templates, they are indispensable for reports.
Pie Charts: Better for a Bolder Style
The pie chart and a doughnut chart template create very similar tradeoffs, however often there is a best choice here. Pie charts create a more striking image with a large splash of color, while lacking center text. So they are a great choice when a summary glance is needed to link to a dramatic point.
Tree Map Charts: Better for Complex Values
In scientific and financial contexts you're more likely to see Tree Maps. An excellent choice for proportional data with nested values within individual categories. If your reports have complex values and percentages, they are a better choice than doughnut chart templates.
What is a Ring Chart?
This is another name for donut charts. It can refer to the many rings that link the many layers of data points. However donut charts can also contain many rings, making differences purely semantic.
Can You Make a Donut Chart in Google Sheets?
Yes, Google Sheets makes doughnut charts easy. Once you have have your spreadsheet open with your data ready to go:
- Start by selecting a data range of number. Ensure that your data is organized with any headings
- Go to the menu bar and click on 'Insert' and then select 'Chart.'
- In the Chart Editor pane on the right, click on 'Chart type.' Scroll down to 'Pie chart' section. Here, you'll see the option for a donut charts. Select it, and your doughnut chart will save automatically. You also have the option to modify alignment before download.
How do you make a donut graph in Excel?
Doughnut chart templates are a popular choice in Excel, you can create them easily by:
- Select your data. Like Google Sheets, your data should be organized with column headings.
- Go to the 'Insert' tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen. In the 'Charts' group, click on the pie chart icon.
- A dropdown menu will appear. Select 'Doughnut' from the list of options. Your donut charts will now appear in your spreadsheet.
Hopefully now you feel confident using a doughnut chart maker for your data visualization needs. For more advanced data visualization be sure to try selecting data in the chart maker by "rings" to organize additional information into layers. Once you're ready, you can create your file by clicking the download button.
If you're a fan of our doughnut chart template and want access to more tools, please reach out to us. If for example you wanted to download a pdf file, we'd like to customize this for your brand!