Ranking

To show:

  • greater than
  • less than
  • equal to
  • from lowest to highest

Ranking Charts

Use bar charts to show data that are ranked, in either ascending or descending order. Horizontal bars should be used.

A bar chart should always be ranked by value, unless there is a natural order to the data (for example, age or time).

To highlight the highest values the largest value should be at the top of the chart.

Descending, largest values highlighted

To highlight the lowest values the smallest value should be at the top of the chart.

Ascending, smallest values highlighted

If you are talking about data in terms of first, second or third or “the top 10” they should always be in descending order.

Top 10 girls’ baby names
England, 2013

Top 10 girls’ baby names
England, 2013

Plotting a change in rank

Use a slope chart to highlight a change in rank.

Ranking multiple series

Rank the most important or recent data if there are multiple series and the other data sets should be ordered correspondingly.