…ith using pictographs instead of generic shapes to represent data in simple charts. They found that using discrete shapes, whether they were generic circles or pictographs, helped people remember the data better than a single bar. Using pictographs as replacement for text on the axis led to more errors.
Not only did he find that pie charts were read as easily, quickly and accurately as bar charts, but that as the number of components in the chart increased, bars become less efficient encoding the data. The opposite was true for pie charts
It’s perhaps a science because it must represent data accurately, methodically and without flourish so that we can see the underlying trends and patterns. Because of this, selecting the right visualization for your content could be prescriptive based on what you want to show.