Which Type of Chart Can Show Running Totals of Financial Data?


Scott Campbell

Which Type of Chart Can Show Running Totals of Financial Data?

Financial data often consists of a series of values that change over time. Analyzing this data can be challenging, especially when trying to understand the overall trend or cumulative total. One effective way to visualize running totals of financial data is by using charts.

Line Chart

A line chart is a popular choice for displaying running totals. It represents data points connected by lines, allowing viewers to easily track the progression of values over time. By plotting the cumulative sum at each point, a line chart can effectively illustrate the running total of financial data.

To create a line chart in HTML, you can use various libraries such as Chart.js or D3.js. These libraries provide easy-to-use functions and customizable options to generate visually appealing line charts.

Area Chart

An area chart is another excellent option for visualizing running totals. Similar to a line chart, it displays the cumulative sum over time. However, an area chart fills the space below the line with color, enhancing the visual representation of the running total.

Using HTML and CSS, you can create an area chart by utilizing SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) elements. By defining paths and filling them with colors corresponding to your financial data, you can generate an engaging area chart that effectively shows running totals.

Column Chart

A column chart can also be utilized to display running totals of financial data. While it may not show the progression as smoothly as a line or area chart, it provides a clear comparison between individual values at different points in time.

To create a column chart in HTML, you can employ libraries like Highcharts or Google Charts. These libraries offer easy-to-use functions that allow you to generate visually appealing column charts with running totals.

Combining Multiple Charts

In some cases, it may be beneficial to combine multiple chart types to present running totals comprehensively. For example, you could display a line chart to show the overall trend and an area chart to emphasize the cumulative sum. This combination can provide a richer understanding of the financial data.


Visualizing running totals of financial data is essential for understanding trends and patterns over time. Line charts, area charts, and column charts are effective choices for displaying this information. By utilizing HTML and incorporating libraries, you can create visually engaging charts that effectively communicate running totals in an intuitive manner.

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