Improving Visualizations: Removing ‘Other’ from Pizza Chart Data in Google Data Studio
In today’s data-driven world, we are inundated with information that we need to analyze and interpret. As we dive deeper into data, visualizations provide the perfect way to present our insights in an attractive and cohesive manner. However, presentational inconsistencies can lead to confusion and misinterpretation of data. One such inconsistency is the use of a ‘Other’ category in your data visualization.
As we’ve all seen, many analytics platforms allow us to create pie charts to communicate our data. And we’ve also all seen the infamous ‘Other’ category in these pie charts. While it may seem like a helpful category to lump together smaller values, in reality, it often hides important information and can lead to false conclusions. Data analyzers need to be aware that this category may be detrimental to their analysis and work towards its removal.
Google Data Studio, one of the most popular analytics platforms, provides users with a way to delete the ‘Other’ category from their pie charts. In this article, you will learn how to do just that.
Let’s dive in.
Why Removing ‘Other’ is Important
At first glance, it seems like an ‘Other’ category is a good idea. It helps to organize values that are too small to be displayed on the chart to make it more readable. However, for data analytics, it is essential to know what these values are. Often, these values are structurally important and allow for a complete understanding of the data. Thus, you should not assume that the collection of all other values in a data set is insignificant.
Moreover, ‘Other’ category in a pie chart could lead to wrong conclusions. For example, it can make a significant value appear smaller than it actually is. The ‘Other’ category creates a false perception of data distribution, leading to data misinterpretation.
Thus, it becomes essential to remove the ‘Other’ category to make the visualization more meaningful and insightful. Removing this category will provide a clear and concise presentation of data while avoiding confusion about the information being conveyed.
How to Remove ‘Other’ from Google Data Studio Pie Charts
Now, let’s take a closer look at how to remove the ‘Other’ category in Google Data Studio pie charts.
Step 1: Select the Pie Chart
In the first step, select the pie chart that you want to remove the ‘Other’ category from.
Step 2: Go to the Data Panel
On the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll find the data panel. Click on the ‘Edit’ button located on the upper-left corner to open the data panel.
Step 3: Group Data
Select the field you want to group. For this article, I am going to group “product name” to remove “Other” from the pie chart data and provide insight into all the small values.
After selecting “product name,” click on the three dots beside the “Add Field” button and select “Create New Field.”
Please note that creating a new field will not affect the data source in any way. Google Data Studio offers this feature as an effective way to restructure your data field.
Step 4: Create a New Field
In this step, you will create a new field that does not have the ‘Other’ category.
On the “Add Calculated Field” screen, rename field as required. For this tutorial, let’s call it “Product Group,” and type the formula to group your desired field.
The formula should be: IF(PRODUCT NAME IN (‘A’,’B’,’C’),’A,B,C’,PRODUCT NAME)
Here, we are grouping ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C’ into one group, and the rest of the values remain the same as in the original data.
Step 5: Apply New Field
After creating the ‘Product Group’ field, click on the “Apply” button to add it to the table.
Step 6: Edit Chart
Back on the report page, to update the pie chart visualization, select the ‘Chart,’ and the edit icon.
Step 7: Choose the New Field
In the ‘Chart Editor,’ select the ‘Product Group’ field instead of the ‘Product Name’ field. Now, the pie chart is updated without the ‘Other’ category.
Step 8: Add Labels
Finally, add labels to the pie chart, including data points or percentages, if required.
Congratulations! You have updated your pie chart visualization to include all data points without using an ‘Other’ category.
1. What is the ‘Other’ category in a pie chart, and why is it used?
The “Other” category is used in pie charts to combine all small values that do not qualify for a slice separately. This is done to make the pie chart more readable, but it can hide important information.
2. What is a pie chart, and how do you create it in Google Data Studio?
A pie chart is a circular graph where all values in the data add up to 100%. You can create it in Google Data Studio by selecting the pie chart feature from the “Insert” or “Add a chart” tab.
3. Why should you remove the ‘Other’ category from pie charts?
Removing the ‘Other’ category provides complete insight into all values in your data, thereby, avoiding data distortion. In addition, it promotes full data transparency, providing a better understanding of the information being conveyed, and the ability to draw more meaningful and actionable insights.
In this article, we have seen how data analytics platforms like Google Data Studio can create misleading visualizations by using an ‘Other’ category in pie charts. By eliminating this category, data analyzers can provide an accurate depiction of the data and make it easier to draw meaningful insights from the visualization. We have also seen how to remove the ‘Other’ category using Google Data Studio. So, next time you are creating pie charts, make sure to remove the ‘Other’ category for a clearer, more insightful representation of your data.