(click on chart for a larger view)
A flowchart that decides which chart style is best for your data:
Great data deserves an eye-catching presentation, but most charting and graph-making software offers an overwhelming array of options. Andrew at the Extreme Presentation Method blog offers a flowchart to pick the wisest choice.
Andrew's flowchart, available as a JPEG or PDF, starts with the question "What would you like to show?"—comparison, distribution, composition, or relationship—and drills down from there based on how much and what type of data you've got to show. Engineers and other Excel wizards probably have this knowledge hard-coded in their mouse fingers, but it's still a great reference tool for them or anyone looking to show a lot of data and not have it all look the same. For a similar chart-picking tool, check out the previously mentioned Excel plug-in Chart Advisor.