How to create a donut chart

The  donut chart is a variation of a pie chart. The main difference is that it displays the total number for all parts in the middle, as an additional information. 

Pie charts and donut charts are easy to create and easy to understand - people understand these "at a glance". One can easily understand how many parts there are, and how they compare to each other. Very similar to a pie chart a donut chart must not feature more than three or a maximum of five parts. If you have more than three parts always consider to use a bar or column chart.  

Below is an example where the simple comparison of the donut chart works -  two values tell the story of how close the outcome of the EU Referendum in the UK was. 

1. Preparing and importing the data

Here is how the data for a donut chart in Datarwapper should be prepared:

  • One header row
  • At least two categorical dimensions
  • Comparable measures for each category
  • Values/measures have to add up to 100% (or 1)

 It should look like in the table below (which you can copy to try this chart type in Datawrapper): 

EU Referendum Votes
Remain 48.1
Leave 51.9

Source:  The Electoral Commission

A pie chart always represents a whole, i.e. 100%. Therefore, you can only use data that is based on  exclusive values. Making a pie chart of a survey that allows multiple answers will lead to a corrupted chart.

Once your dataset looks like this, you can copy it into Datawrapper and click "Upload and continue".

2. Check & Describe

Once you copied your dataset into Datawrapper it should look like this.

Make sure that the box  "First row as lable" is ticked so that Datawrapper correctly assigns the values to the labels. Click on "Proceed" and Datawrapper will take you to the next step.

3. Visualize

The chart type to choose here is the " Donut chart". It can happen that the chart appears to small. If that is the case, click, hold, and drag the resize-arrow in the lower right corner of the chart to resize the chart. Experienced users of Datawrapper will know that, but if you just started it is important to know that with the selection of this chart type the options and features available for this chart will change in the sections RefineAnnotate and Design. We cover this in a separate short tutorial found here.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us