A pyramid chart has the form of a triangle with lines dividing it into sections. A related topic or idea is placed in each section. Because of the triangular shape, each section is a different width from the others; this width indicates a level of hierarchy among the topics. For example, the widest section may contain a general topic and the narrowest section may contain a much more specific topic from within that general topic. However, the width is not visually representative of the quantity beyond larger or smaller.
How to Use a Pyramid Chart
Pyramid charts are put to the best use when items need to be arranged in a way that shows hierarchical structure, as well as quantity or size. This can include business management positions, products sold, business locations, etc. In any case, the topics must have a progressive order.
Best Practices When Creating a Pyramid Chart
- Determine a topic. Decide what topic the pyramid will be addressing and place the name at the top of the page.
- Choose subcategories. Decide on subcategories for the overall topic that you chose. Be selective when determining the number of subcategories. It will prevent the diagram from appearing too crowded or complicated.
- Determine value and status. Organize the subcategories based upon their hierarchy. Whatever form you choose, make sure it is consistent.
- Determine status. Make a list of categories and then arrange them from most important to least important, smallest to largest, etc. depending on the hierarchy chosen for the diagram.
- Create sections. Divide the pyramid into sections. Since each section will represent one category make sure to arrange them in order, based on the status you chose before.
- Label. Write each idea or topic in its corresponding section.