# Displaying gaps

Comparing gaps means displaying the distance between (usually) two categories or between categories and reference value. Examples:

• Wage gaps between men and women;
• Distance between a category and a reference value (regional value compared to the national average)

This is similar to analyzing order and ranking, but our focus is less on the absolute value and more on the gap. Like order and ranking, a key issue with these charts is how to order categories:

• The alphabetical order of categories is rarely the right solution, and should you should avoid it.
• Preserve the implicit sequence in ordinal variables, like names of months or weeks.
• When there is no order (like country names), order categories by the quantitative value or by gap value.

It should be clear for the reader when position is reversed (increase vs. decrease, category A is higher or lower than category B). Color and/or arrows are commonly used to signal this.

### Common geometries

A bar (vertical or horizontal) is the most common geometry when comparing gaps.

### Tutorials ## [Datawrapper] How to make an arrow plot

Video tutorial on how to make an arrow plot in Datawrapper ## [Datawrapper] How to make a range plot

Video tutorial on how to make a range plot in Datawrapper ## [Datawrapper] How to make a range plot with mean

Video tutorial on how to make a range plot with mean in Datawrapper ## [Excel] How to make a vertical range dotplot with average

Video tutorial on how to make a dotplot range with mean in Excel ## [Excel] How to make a range dot plot

Video tutorial on how to make a range plot in Excel ## [Excel] How to make a vertical range dotplot

Video tutorial on how to make a dotplot with a vertical range in Excel ## [Excel] How to make a slope chart

Video tutorial on how to make a slope bar chart in Excel ## [Tableau] How to make a dumbbell plot with direction

Video tutorial on how to make a dumbbell plot with direction in Tableau ## [Tableau] How to make a dumbbell plot

Video tutorial on how to make a dumbbell plot in Tableau