What is Doughnut Chart? : Complete Guide

In the world of data analytics, the interpretation of data is just about as important as the initial analysis itself. Once data has been analysed, multiple viewers may see it in multiple different ways, but as an analyst, it is your job to make your superiors, or even the public at large, realise the direction in which the data points.

Simply exhibiting spreadsheets or text is never a good idea when you are looking to explain data. What is required is a visual aid to help you explain your data better. This underscores the importance of pictorial representation in data analysis.

Doughnut Chart

Amon, the most popular methods of data representation is a doughnut chart. A doughnut chart represents your data as a part of a whole. It is primarily a circle with a large hold in the middle of it. The doughnut chart is generally used to divide a certain field by percentage coverage. It may also be used for numbers instead of percentages, but the sum of all the sections of the doughnut chart will have to be made clear to the viewer.

Also Read Business Analysis vs Data Analysis 

Advantages of a Doughnut Chart

The greatest advantage of a doughnut chart is that they are simple to draw and understand. A doughnut chart is among the most basic types of data representation. When you are looking to explain the dominance of a certain field in your analysis or the share of competitors in a market, you will have few better tools than a doughnut chart. Generally, most data analysis software will also allow you to change the order of the values of the metrics in the doughnut chart to make your point clearer. 

Additionally, a doughnut chart presents you with multiple opportunities to align the design of your chart with the design of the rest of your presentation. You can make it in different colours or different shades of the same colour.

Doughnut charts are among the most reader-friendly types of pictorial representation you are likely to come across. They do not occupy a large amount of space if placed alongside text on a page. They are also the most self-explanatory type of pictorial representation. They do not need extra text to be explained. At times, they require no more than the percentage share of the dominant metric to explain.

Disadvantages of a Doughnut Chart

With a pictorial representation of data becoming three-dimensional over the past few years, a number of different types of representation have developed 3D forms. However, there is some difficulty that arises when analysing a doughnut chart in three dimensions. Additionally, the chart is great if the number of metrics in your field is low, perhaps close to single digits.

However, when the number of sectors in your doughnut chart goes up, the user’s ability to understand the chart goes down. Also, there isn’t a lot of scope for an explanation, in case some are required, and other methods of data analysis need to be used to mark outliers.

The Differences Between a Doughnut Chart and a Pie Chart

The primary difference between a doughnut chart and a pie chart is the gaping hole at the centre of the doughnut chart. This hole can be used to highlight certain data points, such as the sum of all the sectors of the doughnut chart. This hence allows the doughnut chart to represent a little more data than a pie chart. Additionally, a doughnut chart can contain two different data series in the form of two concentric doughnuts. This is not possible in the case of a pie chart.


A doughnut chart may be considered an evolved form of a pie chart. Such a chart can be extremely valuable in various different contexts, such as the representation of market share, types of products, subtypes of products under these types, etc.

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