Comparison charts, as the name indicates are used to compare data of different fields using different parameters. These charts are also known as comparison diagrams. A line chart, bar charts, pie charts, etc, all these charts fall under one of the comparison chart categories. These charts are visual comparison tools which help compare between two phenomenons, tools, process, objects or groups of data. They provide us with both quantitative and qualitative data. Comparison charts are mostly used by organizations to analyze the progress of different data groups. It can be used in various other fields too, to find the prominent one among a group. That is why it remains an important aspect in business as well as scientific fields.
These are best to use when you are looking for something specific, say in case you need to buy something, this chart will help you look at their advantages, disadvantages, prices, reviews, features, etc. Thus, making it easier to choose between them easily. For example, let’s compare different features of various mobile phones, using a comparison chart.
Image Source: Comparison Charts
Looking at this chart, you can determine which mobile phone highlights quality. This makes it much simpler to pick the best suited one, than tirelessly going through the features of each one at a time.
Let’s take another example of comparison of data using rectangular bars. Below given is the data comparison of the survey taken of students, who own a smartphone, laptop or an mp3 player, in various countries.
Image Source: Charts
Comparisons of data can be drawn by different methods using different charts. Here are a few listed below.
- Various items can be compared together using bars by use of a bar chart.
- Different components of data can be compared using pie charts.
- A histogram or a line chart can be used for comparing time-series relation or to show the frequency distribution of data.
- A scatter chart, also called a dot diagram can be used to show a correlation in data.
Also read: Histogram And Their Uses
Let us take another example of comparison chart, here is a vertical bar chart comparing the reactions of students, from various different countries, when they were asked to unplug from all social media. The results were plotted using a comparison chart as shown below. Funny, how the benefits are much low, compared to all the other negative reviews that have been received.
Image Source: comparison charts
There are different types of comparison charts used to compare various data forms, some of these formats are mentioned below:
- Tables: Data compared using tabular format.
- Sheets: Data comparison using matrix based models, like balance scoreboard.
- Other charts: Data compared based on their quantity, for eg: Bar chart, pie chart, line chart, scatter chart, etc.
- Maps: Data compared using comparison maps.
Different types of tables can be drawn to draw comparison between various data. For example, here in the given table below, we are comparing the percentage average of the cost of living of two cities. The factors on which these comparisons are drawn are, groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and clothing. We can draw a conclusion from this comparison table that, Riverdale’s cost of living is higher than that of Cape Alicia.
Image Source: Comparison Tables
Tables are the easiest way to compare data. They are simple to draw and are being used in every field for their clear and apt representation of data.
Comparison sheets work the same as comparison tables. An apt example of there will be a balanced scoreboard. It is used mostly by managers to keep track of the activities of the employees or the product launched. An example of this sheet is illustrated below.
Image Source: Comparison Sheets
Sixteen features of eight products were listed. A tick mark is put on the boxes of products in which it is present. Thus, keeping track of which product is functioning well so far with all available features.
Recommended Reading: All About Bar Charts And Their Uses
Comparison maps are used to compare lengths of the humongous amount of data. For example, given below is the illustration of the very first comparative map drawn using the length of rivers. Here the comparative lengths of the principal rivers of the world are compared. This chart is famously called, “Table of the comparative lengths of the principal Rivers throughout the World”.
Image Source: Comparison maps
Pros of using comparison charts
- Most comparison charts are simple to construct and read.
- Estimations are quick and easy to understand.
- These charts are approachable to a wide range of audience.
- It permits the viewers to get the data comparison at a glance.
- These charts help summarize a large amount of data.
Cons of using comparison charts
- These charts can be lengthy and tiresome to read.
- The data may be complicated and might not be understandable in one glance.
- All types of comparison chart do not provide a visual perspective of data.
- Comparison charts can be very lengthy and take up a lot of space.
- Data in comparison charts can be easily manipulated.