In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

For a general data refresher, start here.

Like the mountains that they resemble, area charts are a representation of change over time. Whether you’re looking to chart net earnings for individual departments month to month or examining the popularity of music genres since the ‘50s, there are few chart types that communicate time-series relationships so well. Let’s see how area charts can work for you.