The rule we’ve illustrated here is that bar charts must have a zero baseline. Note that this rule does not apply to line graphs. With line graphs, since the focus is on the relative position in space (rather than the length from the baseline or axis), you can get away with a nonzero baseline. Still, you should approach with caution—make it clear to your audience that you are using a nonzero baseline and take context into account so you don’t overzoom and make minor changes or differences appear significant.
- Chapter 2 choosing an effective visual
- from Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
- Released: November 2015
baseline differences between line and bar graphs
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