# Circular bar charts?

1. ## Circular bar charts?

Is it possible to create a bar chart in a circle, where the x-axis is represented by the perimeter of the circle and the y-axis is represented by the radii of the circle?

I need to recreate the following charts and am also trying to find a way to plot both charts together (as an overlay perhaps?) Plotting together, particularly in this format is tricky because too many bars stacked next to each other renders the data unreadable. Furthermore, the data in one chart is measured as a % (from 50%-100%) and in the other is measured as a count (from 1-20). I suppose I can simply "translate" the pure numbers to %, beginning at 50% (with 1 being 50% and 20 being 100%)...

In any case, just getting this stuff in a chart in excel will allow me to play with it and hopefully find the best solution. Is it possible to make this circular bar chart thing happen, or will I have to just fabricate something in illustrator?

They are organized in a circle in order to represent the geographic location of each site relative to one another (all sites radiate from a central point)
Thanks!

2. ## Re: Circular bar charts?

If you really had to you could probably construct the chart as a combination pie/xy-scatter. You would need to calculate all the xy start/finish points which would be used to mimic the radial bars.

Not sure how the circular layout helps. What information does it really provide? Why does the reader need to know that Rhode Island is South West of center. Would the results for Rhode Island be difference if the center of the chart changed?

Consider using a standard column chart where the location are grouped together. You could use any of the following to empahise the relationship,
- multi-level category labels
- colour coded columns
- colour banded plot area

3. ## Re: Circular bar charts?

As Andy said, it is probably possible to construct a circular chart as you specify. However, the circular layout makes it much harder to compare different values, and it does nothing to enhance comprehension. While not flashy or spectacular, simple line and bar charts will show your data clearly and easily, and readers will understand them much more easily. Simple charts are also easier to construct and maintain, leaving you more time for intelligent analyses of the data within them.

4. ## Re: Circular bar charts?

Thank you for your help and input!
I will delete the uploaded images just to prevent any potential conflict with my client (not that it's useful to anyone else, but... better safe than sorry)
Cheers, -Dave

Er.. or not, I can't find an easy way to delete the attachments...

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