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Visualizing Time: Beyond the Line Chart

Author
Andy Cotgreave, Technical Evangelism Director, Tableau

The line chart has a long history of success for visualizing time, but is it always the best way to explore time data? It depends.

For time-based data, the right chart is the one that reveals the most important insights for the audience at hand. Trying a different chart type may reveal hidden insights, unknown unknowns, or surface multiple truths in a single data set.

Continue reading to learn three ways to expand your creative conversation with time data—beyond the line chart.

  • The Slope Chart: From Start to Finish
  • The Cycle Plot: Trends and Seasonality
  • The Highlight Table: Finding patterns in color

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About the author

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Andy Cotgreave

Technical Evangelism Director, Tableau

Andy Cotgreave is a visual analytics expert who has been with Tableau in various roles since 2011 ranging from product consultant to social content manager. He is now Tableau's Technical Evangelism Director. Before joining Tableau, he was a data analyst at the University of Oxford.

As a technical evangelist, Andy helps people see and understand their data using Tableau’s innovative products. He shares his passion for visual analysis and technology with his writing, (eg Computerworld, on tableau.com and his own blog) and by speaking at industry conferences like SXSW and Tableau’s own events. He's also active on Twitter @acotgreave.

Andy’s role at Tableau gives him the opportunity to work with the media, analysts and customers across all industries to help them understand the trends in visual analytics and develop their own data-discovery skills.