Data Interpretation - Pie Charts

Pie Charts Description

Pie charts are graphical forms of data presentation where the data is illustrated in the form of a circle, which is further divided into diverse sections or segments such that each sector or segment represents a certain percentage or proportion of the total.

The pie chart encloses a circle of 360 degrees which represents 100 per cent of the value of the continuous variable. Thus, 3.6 degrees on the pie chart represent 1 percent of the total value of the continuous variable being represented. The entire diagram looks like a pie and its components resemble slices cut from a pie.


A single pie diagram can represent only one continuous variable. Hence, in terms of versatility of data representation, pie charts are less versatile than either of bar charts, x-y graphs or tables. However, their utility is in the fact that the representation of data is cleaner and it gives an immediate idea of the relative distribution of the continuous variable amongst different sectors.

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