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Shortcomings of Showing Many Trends on a Single Chart

Instead of using a stacked column chart, you might try to show many trendlines on a single line chart, which can be confusing. For example, in the top chart in Figure 3.35, the sales trends of five companies create a very confusing chart.

Figure 3.35

Figure 3.35 Instead of using a single chart with five confusing lines, compare your company to each other competitor in smaller charts.

If the goal is to compare the sales results of your company against those of each major competitor, consider using four individual charts instead, as shown at the bottom of Figure 3.35. In these charts, the reader can easily see that your company is about to overtake the long-time industry leader MegaCo, but that quick growth from NewCo might still cause you to stay in the second position next year.

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