Most of the time you'll know which type of chart best suits your data and what it is that you're trying to convey. For those times when you're not so sure, here's a quick reference guide from the book "Good Charts" by Scott Berinato.
For when you're making comparisons in data: Bars, Bumps, Lines, Slopes, and Small multiples
For when you're illustrating distributions: Alluvials, Bubbles, Histograms, Sankeys, Scatter Plots
For when you're showing data composition: Pie charts, Stacked areas, Stacked bars, Treemaps, and Units
And for when you want to diagram relationships, illustrate space and networks etc.: Flow charts, Maps, Hierarchies, 2X2s, and Network diagrams.by