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What is Area Graph?

Area Graph

An area chart represents the change in one or more quantities over time. It is similar to a line graph. In both area charts and line graphs, data points are plotted and then connected by line segments to show the value of a quantity at several different times.

The area chart is a combination between a line graph and a stacked bar chart. It shows relative proportions of totals or percentage relationships. By stacking the volume beneath the line, the chart shows the total of the fields as well as their relative size to each other.


When you can use Area Graphs?

In this example, I am comparing profit performance by region for our fictional company by quarter. The strength of this chart type is that I can immediately see that the West (in gray) is consistently the largest portion of the area for each quarter. As you trace along each quarter, the West is the largest portion of the stacked volumes.


In addition, we can visually see that Q4 is always the strongest performer throughout the year with a sharp decline in the following Q1. You can also see that the Q4 peak is getting higher and higher, year after year.

A quick trend analysis is the strength of a line graph. With an area chart, we can see the underlying performances and relative totals of the sum.

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