Line, bar and pie charts – an overview

What can this template do?

It can visualize everything from ranking to distribution, from magnitude to change over time and parts to a whole. If you’re not sure what your data is showing or how best to visualize it, loading it into this template and trying out different chart types is a great first step.

Create your own Line, bar, pie visualization now! »

How to get started

    The first thing you need is a CSV or Excel file of your data.
    Make sure that there’s a column containing labels for each instance of data, like years or Premier League football teams. In a line, bar or area chart, these will become the values or categories along the X axis. In a pie chart, they’ll become the slices

    As a default, Flourish assumes the first column, A, holds the labels and that the rest of the columns hold the different series. But if your CSV or Excel file isn’t in this order, you can easily change this on the Select columns to visualise panel in the Data tab.

    The default Line, bar, pie data is structured in a wide data format. Here is an example:
    Year London Paris Berlin
    2010 1 4 3
    2020 0 3 6

    However, if you need to use the Charts grid or Row filter column bindings, your data may need to change to a long format instead. Fortunately, you can do this directly in Flourish – read more about unpivoting here 


    Once you've added your data, you should be able to see a preview of your chart in the bottom right corner. If you switch back into the Preview tab now, you can tweak the styles of your chart.

When to use which type

Column charts are the standard choice for comparing things, but they can also be used to show change over time, especially for a single series.  
Line charts are ideal for showing changing time series as well as trends and developments over time.
Bar charts are good for comparing size, especially on small screens. They are a good alternative to column charts when the data are not time series, or axis labels are long.
Area charts are great to show how a total and their shares developed over time. Think about them as a combination of a line chart (change over time) and a column chart (distributions and comparisons).
Pie charts are used to display parts of a whole. Use these to show how an entity breaks down into its components. 

TIP: For more tips on which chart type to choose for your data, head over to this help doc.