- greater than
- less than
- equal to
- from lowest to highest
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).
Example of chart with no ranking order
To highlight the highest values the largest value should be at the top of the chart.
Example of chart with a clear ranking order from highest value
Descending, largest values highlighted
To highlight the lowest values the smallest value should be at the top of the chart.
Example of chart with clear ranking order from lowest value
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.
Example of chart ranking the top 10 in descending order
Top 10 girls’ baby names
Plotting a change in rank
Use a slope chart to highlight a change in rank.
Example of slope chart showing change in ranking order
Ranking multiple series
Rank the most important or recent data if there are multiple series and the other data sets should be ordered correspondingly.