Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I like camembert, but I don't like pie charts

Earlier today, while reading a brief NYT article on William Playfair and the genesis of pie charts (link), I learned a fun new fact: in France, pie charts are referred to as le camembert.

I suppose it's not so strange that the hard-to-read visual we named after a sweet circle dessert in English is described by a savory dessert in France. But I still find this wildly amusing (yes, I am a dork; I take no shame in that). So much so, in fact, that I almost didn't believe it at first. But a quick minute in Google Translate confirmed it for me:

Alas, if only pie charts were as effective of a visual as pies or cheese are as tasty desserts. (personal diatribe)


  1. This is hilarious!! Le camembert is the "La Royal with Cheese" of data visualization!

  2. Hi Cole! I attended your Storytelling with Data presentation today. Thank you for the tips and insight - you were beyond fantastic! As the Director of Development at a local non-profit, I have a burning question: when it comes to financial data in annual reports (namely Source of Funds and Use of Funds), what are some healthier alternatives to the dreaded pie chart...?

    1. Another non-profiter here! So. Many. Pie Charts! In annual reports. It's painful.