A radar chart, also known as a spider chart, is a primary tool used in data visualization. The chart is mostly used when you want to find outliers and similarities in your data. If you are a data analyst or a business owner, then you have ever interacted with this chart type in your data processing activities.
In other circumstances, the chart is also referred to as a polar chart or star chart due to its unique shape. It has a unique shape that makes it stand out from the other types of charts used in data visualization. Even though it appears to be more complex than other types of data visualization, when a radar chart is created correctly, it can easily display a given message clearly.
This chart type uses a radial grid to display a wide range of data. Every data category on the chart comes with an axis outlined across the central point. The data categories are equally spaced across the chart creating appealing patterns. It also has concentric circles running from the center mark of the scale values, outlining the higher data points far away from the center.
You can freely chart multiple data variables on a radar chart, although they all need to appear on the same scale. Every data category is plotted and outlined at the vertex of the grid. The general shape of the chart varies depending on the number of data categories used to plot it. When you apply three data grids, the chart will appear triangular in shape.
If you have an average of six data categories, you will come up with a hexagonal shape. A line is drawn to connect data within all the categories. As a result, it creates a polygon plotted area across the radar chart. Furthermore, data series are also overlaid within the graph.
Note that this type of data visualization requires you to have three different columns or rows of data. One row should represent categories, one for data values, and the last one for series. Even though a radar chart is not the best when visualizing every type of data, it has multiple unique attributes that make it a reliable option if you want to compare data within your organization.
How to Create a Radar Chart?
Even though a radar chart works well in matters to do with data visualization tool, have you ever thought of creating one? As a business owner, you should have thought of how you can create a radar chart to analyze your data. The good news is that creating a radar chart in Google Sheets is not difficult as many believe.
Before diving into the process, the first stage is to ensure that you have collected all the data you intend to use. Collect the information from all your respective sources and compile it together, ready to start. Once you have the data, open Google Sheets on your computer and outline the data, you can choose to copy-paste the data or import it from the original source.
Ensure that you have three categories of data that are accurate and communicate a clear message. On the top main menu of your Google Sheets, click on the “Insert” button. Remember that the goal is to insert a chart. Navigate to the charts section and explore the charting button. Different Types of charts will appear; click on a radar chart or a spider chart, depending on what appears.
The next step is to highlight the data you intend to present on the chart and click on “Create the chart.” A radar chart will appear on your screen, depicting all your data elements in a presentable manner. Note that you have the freedom to edit the charts to make it appealing. Once you make all your preferred changes, you will have a complete chart that you can use to generate insights from your data.
You May Also Know: Radar Chart vs. Bar chart: How Are These Two Different?
When to Use a Radar Chart
A radar chart is mainly used in specific circumstances during data visualization. The chart is mostly used when you want to showcase the relationship between a wide number of data categories and display outliers. The chart plays a crucial role in presenting data values that are entirely unique in a given data set.
Also, the chart can be used in a business setting where decisions need to be made after comparing various organizational values. The chart allows you to evaluate where every aspect of the business is in terms of performance. The best way to use a radar chart is by comparing one person to a group or a particular skill level.
You can compare things such as the sales development performance representative KPI to the average performance of the entire group. The chart will help you identify the areas where the sales representative is outperforming the group and the areas that need more training to perform better.
Another popular example is charting the basic competencies in various programming languages for developers. After doing the charting work, you can now compare the knowledge of different programmers within an internal standard level.
How to Use a Radar Chart in Business?
A radar chart can be used in business in various ways to execute different activities. They include:
- Product Satisfactory Scoring
A radar chart is an awesome choice to monitor a product satisfaction score against the competitive standards within the market. It gives you a chance to evaluate the products’ strengths and weaknesses compared to the market average.
- Talent Evaluation
You can use the chart during the hiring process to evaluate an average of three different candidates against each other. In addition, you can compare their technical competence together with other intangible skills such as confidence and punctuality.
- Management of the Store Location
Business stakeholders can chart how a new store performs compared to the already established store. This allows you to compare any performance challenges that are likely to occur and enhance the business’s success.
Best Practices When Using a Radar Chart
When using a radar chart to analyze various metrics in your business, you need to understand some of the best practices to consider. They include:
- Avoid Overcrowding of Visuals
A radar chart is likely to have a lot going on visually, especially on the axis lines, plotted areas, and variable lines. Analyzing more than three data points makes it difficult for one to understand the presented data and use it in decision-making. To get better results and avoid visual overcrowding, only use a radar chart if you want to analyze a maximum of three data points.
- Do not Overuse it
A radar chart is considered one of the most complex visualizations, and it can sometimes be confusing. Note that circularly comparing data is difficult compared to a straight line. The goal is to understand the message you intend to communicate to your audience. Only use a radar chart when it really matters. Do not overuse it since you are likely to confuse your readers.
- Use Transparency
When dealing with more than one data set, use transparency to analyze any overlapping plots on your chart to ensure that you present all the charted data. This will help you pinpoint your message and make it easier for your audience to get the point clearly. Also, this is a simple way to communicate to an audience that does not understand technical data.
A radar chart is an awesome tool to use when conducting your data visualization activities. The chart’s unique appearance makes it unique from all the other available charting options. Using the chart adds more weight to your data since it uncovers detailed information giving you room to understand all the points of interest. However, always use the chart sparingly to allow it to serve your needs. The chart operates differently since it comes in different shoes depending on what you visualize. Proper use of a radar chart gives you the freedom to understand the relationship between your data and any underlying information that you need to know. Do you know how to create a radar chart? This blog can help you create one!