If a particular set of numbers is interesting to the user on a qualitative level, duplicate that set with bars or columns that answers a few questions.
- Biggest questions: How many Items are being used over capacity? And, what are our most used items?
- Solution: Bar/column chart with a threshold drawn, ordered Descending by the In Use column.
This sort of thing is where building interactive data displays comes in handy. You can expose a number of columns as facets by which the data set can be filtered. Then the user can answer many questions in a single display, by selecting different facets and thresholds.
For just presenting all of the data, the table is appropriate.
A few reasons for not abandoning the table:
- Very tall bar charts will make ordering and comparison somewhat difficult, and will generally only answer the question "what is the general trend".
- Clustered bar charts allow for comparison atomically within each entry, but make trend analysis much more difficult across the whole collection.
- Stacked bars allow for only trend analysis of the totals and visually obscure the sub-totals.
- As you noted, pie charts are a very bad idea here. Normally their density is too low for the space they occupy, and when there's enough data points for their density to be sufficient, actually comparing any data in them is impossible.
To make the table more intuitive, move the Total column after the subtotal columns and before the other columns. This is common practice, as Western cultures read left-to-write and we therefore assume a conclusion is to the right of it's parameters.
Then use a highlighting color or shading in the total column to denote that it is special and distinct from the other numbers. This will make it more obvious, without reducing meaningful density in your display.
How many items are available: Are all entries in the list in your OP equivalent? As in, is it all hardware, equipment, vehicles, software licenses, etc? If entries are homogenous (all software licenses, for example) a bar graph would be visually honest and would provide some UI flare. If all manner of things are in that list, though (keyboards as well as company trucks), 1 truck being out may be more meaningful than 10 keyboards.
How many items have expired: Adding to that, 1 truck being out and expired may be a bigger issue than 10 keyboards being out and 2 being expired, though a bar graph will look like the impact of non-compliance is higher for the keyboards.
If your table will never be long, you could get away with the bar chart, but I still may recommend a table.
If your table may be long, I think information in the tail of the bar charts may be overcome by large volume entries, and a table will be the best choice.
The information needed for either is the columns:
[Name] [In use ^] [Expired ^]
For either, only show entries that have items checked out or expired.
If you intended to do a bar chart, I would recommend considering using a bullet chart or a stacked bar with expired always as a subset of the total checked out.
For the table (which I still recommend):
- Allow ordering by the columns.
- If an entry has expired items, highlight the row.
- Allow the user to click on the entry name to take the user to a new page with a detailed list of the items for that entry, and lists the 5W's for each (so they can see who has the expired items, all that stuff).
Also, consider using checked out as the sum of "out and valid" and "out and expired", along with an explicitly "expired" count. "Out and not expired" is probably used the least of the three, and is made redundant with the above usage.