How to Make Baseline Charts in R

By shifting the baseline to a reference point, you can focus a line chart on relative change, which can improve the visibility of smaller categories.

The baseline chart is a specific type of line chart that shows percentage changes over time. With that in mind, if you know how to make a line chart, then you know how to make a baseline chart.

The key is what comes before the actual chart-making. If you have absolute counts, you have to calculate relative change, which can be done in various ways depending on what you want to show and what you’re interested in.

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About the Author

Nathan Yau is a statistician who works primarily with visualization. He earned his PhD in statistics from UCLA, is the author of two best-selling books — Data Points and Visualize This — and runs FlowingData. Introvert. Likes food. Likes beer.