The test of a graph's usefulness is its ability to communicate efficiently and effectively. If it expresses the right information clearly and accurately in a way that speaks to your audience, then it is effective. If not, regardless of how pretty it is, it's not only useless, it might even be harmful. If you are using radar graphs to communicate typical business information, you could be making a costly mistake.

A radar graph, sometimes called a star or spider graph, is laid out in a circular fashion, rather than the more common linear arrangement. As you see in Figure 1, a radar graph consists of axis lines that start in the center of a circle and extend to its periphery. Each axis can either represent an independent measure related to a single thing (for example, different measures of a cereal's nutritional content, such as protein, fat, sugar, potassium and calories) or a single measure broken into multiple subdivisions of a single category (such as expenses per department). The axes in Figure 1 are of the latter type, each representing a different sales channel for a single measure - sales revenue.

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