 Math Article
Graphical Representation
Graphical Representation is a way of analysing numerical data. It exhibits the relation between data, ideas, information and concepts in a diagram. It is easy to understand and it is one of the most important learning strategies. It always depends on the type of information in a particular domain. There are different types of graphical representation. Some of them are as follows:
 Line Graphs – Line graph or the linear graph is used to display the continuous data and it is useful for predicting future events over time.
 Bar Graphs – Bar Graph is used to display the category of data and it compares the data using solid bars to represent the quantities.
 Histograms – The graph that uses bars to represent the frequency of numerical data that are organised into intervals. Since all the intervals are equal and continuous, all the bars have the same width.
 Line Plot – It shows the frequency of data on a given number line. ‘ x ‘ is placed above a number line each time when that data occurs again.
 Frequency Table – The table shows the number of pieces of data that falls within the given interval.
 Circle Graph – Also known as the pie chart that shows the relationships of the parts of the whole. The circle is considered with 100% and the categories occupied is represented with that specific percentage like 15%, 56%, etc.
 Stem and Leaf Plot – In the stem and leaf plot, the data are organised from least value to the greatest value. The digits of the least place values from the leaves and the next place value digit forms the stems.
 Box and Whisker Plot – The plot diagram summarises the data by dividing into four parts. Box and whisker show the range (spread) and the middle ( median) of the data.
General Rules for Graphical Representation of Data
There are certain rules to effectively present the information in the graphical representation. They are:
 Suitable Title: Make sure that the appropriate title is given to the graph which indicates the subject of the presentation.
 Measurement Unit: Mention the measurement unit in the graph.
 Proper Scale: To represent the data in an accurate manner, choose a proper scale.
 Index: Index the appropriate colours, shades, lines, design in the graphs for better understanding.
 Data Sources: Include the source of information wherever it is necessary at the bottom of the graph.
 Keep it Simple: Construct a graph in an easy way that everyone can understand.
 Neat: Choose the correct size, fonts, colours etc in such a way that the graph should be a visual aid for the presentation of information.
Graphical Representation in Maths
In Mathematics, a graph is defined as a chart with statistical data, which are represented in the form of curves or lines drawn across the coordinate point plotted on its surface. It helps to study the relationship between two variables where it helps to measure the change in the variable amount with respect to another variable within a given interval of time. It helps to study the series distribution and frequency distribution for a given problem. There are two types of graphs to visually depict the information. They are:
 Time Series Graphs – Example: Line Graph
 Frequency Distribution Graphs – Example: Frequency Polygon Graph
Principles of Graphical Representation
Algebraic principles are applied to all types of graphical representation of data. In graphs, it is represented using two lines called coordinate axes. The horizontal axis is denoted as the xaxis and the vertical axis is denoted as the yaxis. The point at which two lines intersect is called an origin ‘O’. Consider xaxis, the distance from the origin to the right side will take a positive value and the distance from the origin to the left side will take a negative value. Similarly, for the yaxis, the points above the origin will take a positive value, and the points below the origin will a negative value.
Generally, the frequency distribution is represented in four methods, namely
 Smoothed frequency graph
 Pie diagram
 Cumulative or ogive frequency graph
 Frequency Polygon
Merits of Using Graphs
Some of the merits of using graphs are as follows:
 The graph is easily understood by everyone without any prior knowledge.
 It saves time
 It allows us to relate and compare the data for different time periods
 It is used in statistics to determine the mean, median and mode for different data, as well as in the interpolation and the extrapolation of data.
Example for Frequency polygonGraph
Here are the steps to follow to find the frequency distribution of a frequency polygon and it is represented in a graphical way.
 Obtain the frequency distribution and find the midpoints of each class interval.
 Represent the midpoints along xaxis and frequencies along the yaxis.
 Plot the points corresponding to the frequency at each midpoint.
 Join these points, using lines in order.
 To complete the polygon, join the point at each end immediately to the lower or higher class marks on the xaxis.
Draw the frequency polygon for the following data
1020  2030  3040  4050  5060  6070  7080  8090  
4  6  8  10  12  14  7  5 
Mark the class interval along xaxis and frequencies along the yaxis.
Let assume that class interval 010 with frequency zero and 90100 with frequency zero.
Now calculate the midpoint of the class interval.
010  5  0 
1020  15  4 
2030  25  6 
3040  35  8 
4050  45  10 
5060  55  12 
6070  65  14 
7080  75  7 
8090  85  5 
90100  95  0 
Using the midpoint and the frequency value from the above table, plot the points A (5, 0), B (15, 4), C (25, 6), D (35, 8), E (45, 10), F (55, 12), G (65, 14), H (75, 7), I (85, 5) and J (95, 0).
To obtain the frequency polygon ABCDEFGHIJ, draw the line segments AB, BC, CD, DE, EF, FG, GH, HI, IJ, and connect all the points.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of graphical representation.
Some of the various types of graphical representation include:
 Line Graphs
 Frequency Table
 Circle Graph, etc.
Read More: Types of Graphs
What are the Advantages of Graphical Method?
Some of the advantages of graphical representation are:
 It makes data more easily understandable.
 It saves time.
 It makes the comparison of data more efficient.
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Very useful for understand the basic concepts in simple and easy way. Its very useful to all students whether they are school students or college sudents
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Statistics By Jim
Making statistics intuitive
Guide to Data Types and How to Graph Them in Statistics
By Jim Frost 38 Comments
In the field of statistics , data are vital. Data are the information that you collect to learn, draw conclusions, and test hypotheses. After all, statistics is the science of learning from data. However, there are different types of variables, and they record various kinds of information. Crucially, the type of information determines what you can learn from it, and, importantly, what you cannot learn from it. Consequently, it’s essential that you understand the different types of data.
The term “data” carries strong preconceived notions with it. It almost becomes something that is separate from reality. Throughout this post, I want you to think about data as information in a study area that you are gathering to answer a question. For example:
 Do flu shots prevent the flu?
 Does exercise improve your health?
 Does a gasoline additive improve gas mileage?
When you assess any of these questions, there’s a wide array of characteristics that you can record. For example, in a study that uses human subjects, you can log numerical measurements such as height and weight. However, you can also designate properties such as gender, marital status, and health concerns. For some characteristics, you can record them in multiple ways. For instance, you can measure a subject’s body fat percentage, or you can indicate whether they are medically obese or not.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about the different types of variables, what you can learn from them, and how to graph the values using intuitive examples. I also include links to more indepth posts where I show you how to pick the correct statistical analyses based on the types of variables that you have.
Related post : What is a Variable?
Quantitative versus Qualitative Data
The distinction between quantitative and qualitative data is the most fundamental way to divide types of data. Is the characteristic something you can objectively measure with numbers or not?
Quantitative : The information is recorded as numbers and represents an objective measurement or a count. Temperature, weight, and a count of transactions are all quantitative data. Analysts also refer to this type as numerical data.
Qualitative : The information represents characteristics that you do not measure with numbers. Instead, the observations fall within a countable number of groups. In fact, this type of variable can capture information that isn’t easily measured and can be subjective. Taste, eye color, architectural style, and marital status are all types of qualitative variables .
Within these two broad divisions, there are various subtypes.
Related posts : Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data and Levels of Measurement: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio Scales
Types of Quantitative Data: Continuous and Discrete
When you can represent the information you’re gathering with numbers, you are collecting quantitative data. This class encompasses two categories. To learn more, read Discrete vs. Continuous .
Continuous data
Continuous variables can take on any numeric value, and it can be meaningfully divided into smaller increments, including fractional and decimal values. There are an infinite number of possible values between any two values. Typically, you measure continuous variables on a scale. For example, when you measure height, weight, and temperature, you have continuous data.
With continuous variables, you can assess measures of central tendency and variability, such as the mean, median, distribution, range, and standard deviation. For example, the mean height in the U.S. is 5 feet 9 inches for men and 5 feet 4 inches for women.
Related posts : Measure of Central Tendency and Measures of Variability
How to graph continuous data
Dot plots provide the same types of information as histograms. For more information, read my Guide to Dot Plots .
Related post : Using Histograms to Understand Your Data
When you have two continuous variables, you can graph them using a scatterplot. The scatterplot shows how the body fat percentage tends to rise as BMI increases. Use correlation to assess the strength of this relationship or regression analysis to derive the equation for the line that provides the best fit for these data. For more information, read my Guide to Scatterplots .
When you have continuous variables that are divided into groups, you can use a boxplot to display the central tendency and spread of each group. Fertilizer Type C is associated with the highest plant growth while Type B produces the greatest variability.
Please notice how with continuous variables you can assess the wide variety of properties that I illustrate above. You’ll see a contrast when we get to qualitative variables.
Related posts : Box Plot Explained with Examples and Time Series Plots
Discrete data
With discrete variables, you can calculate and assess a rate of occurrence or a summary of the count, such as the mean, sum, and standard deviation. For example, U.S. households had an average of 2.11 vehicles in 2014.
Bar charts are a standard way to graph discrete variables. Each bar represents a distinct value, and the height represents its proportion in the entire sample .
See how I used a line plot to graph the count of coronavirus cases by country .
Related posts : Guide to Bar Charts and Guide to Line Charts
Qualitative Data: Categorical, Binary, and Ordinal
When you record information that categorizes your observations, you are collecting qualitative data. There are three types of qualitative variables—categorical, binary, and ordinal. With these data types, you’re often interested in the proportions of each category. Consequently, bar charts and pie charts are conventional methods for graphing qualitative variables because they are useful for displaying the relative percentage of each group out of the entire sample.
As I mentioned in the section about continuous variables, notice how we learn much less from qualitative data. I highlight this aspect in the section about binary variables . In cases where you have a choice about recording a characteristic as a continuous or qualitative variable, the best practice is to record the continuous data because you can learn so much more.
Categorical data
The categorical data in the pie chart are the results of a PPG Industries study of new car colors in 2012.
Related post : Guide to Pie Charts
Binary data
Binary variables are helpful for calculating proportions or percentages, such as the proportion of defective products in a sample. You just take the number of faulty products and divide by the sample size.
The binary yes/no data for the pie chart are based on the continuous body fat percentage data in the histogram above. Compare how much we learn from the continuous data that the histogram displays as a distribution compared to the simple proportion that the binary version of the data provides in the pie chart below.
Related post : Maximizing the Value of Your Binary Data
Ordinal data
Analysts often consider ordinal variables to have a combination of qualitative and quantitative properties. Analysts often represent ordinal variables using numbers, such as a 5point Likert scale that measures satisfaction. In number form, you can calculate average scores as with quantitative variables. However, the numbers have limited usefulness because the differences between ranks might not be constant. Learn more indepth about Ordinal Data: Definition, Examples & Analysis .
For example, first, second, and third in a race are ordinal data. The difference in time between first and second place might not be the same the difference between second and third place.
The bar chart below displays the proportion of each service rating category in their natural order.
How to Choose Statistical Analyses Based on Data Types
So, you understand the different types of data, what you can learn from them, and how to graph them—how else can you use this knowledge? In statistics, the type of variable greatly determines which kinds of analyses you can perform. Read the following posts to learn how to choose a statistical analysis based on the types of variables that you have.
Choosing Hypothesis Tests for Continuous, Binary, and Count Data : Hypothesis tests use sample data to evaluate claims about an entire population . The correct test depends on your variables.
Chisquared test of independence when you have two or more categorical variables : This hypothesis test determines whether there is a statistically significant relationship between categorical variables.
Choosing the Correct Type of Regression Analysis Based on Data Type : Regression analysis describes the relationship between a set of independent variables and a dependent variable. The choice depends on the type of data you have for the dependent variable.
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Reader Interactions
December 4, 2023 at 4:02 pm
Dear Jim, I’m not sure a question I tried to submit last week actually made it to you. If it did, I apologize for the duplication…
First of all, as others have said, I really appreciate what you have done with this web site and the books (which I bought). I found the stats course I took in college back in the stone age to be confusing and discouraging, so the accessibility and clarity of what you’ve put together are a gift.
I’m starting a second act career as a project management consultant for nonprofits in social justice and human services and my current client has asked me to compile and analyze data on residents of a facility for single mothers 1620 years old, which is intended to be used for program redesign. (Yes, it’s at or over the edge of the definition of project management, but that’s nonprofits!). Because my first act career (pharmaceutical R&D) didn’t require me to use the stats I supposedly learned in college – I left it to the pros – I am, for all intents and purposes a newcomer, which makes your work especially helpful to me. It also means that I may be posting comments like this one with rookie questions.
With that as background, I have a couple of questions about your post “Guide to Data Types and How to Graph Them in Statistics”. My fuzziness about these two questions is making it a little difficult to fully get my head around some of the material that comes later.
1. Can you explain the difference between the terms “data” and “variable”? The way the terms are used in this post and the one called “What is a Variable” seems very similar, if not interchangeable. 2. Is it correct to say that the data (variable) types you listed in this post and “What is a Variable” primarily describe their use as independent variables? I understand that dependent variables can also fit into one of these categories, but it seems to me that there’s a natural order in which you first identify the data type your independent data (variable) fall into.
Thanks in advance for your help, Jim, and to anyone else who wants to chime in.
December 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm
I’ve just received this one comment/question from you. Unfortunately, my website has a few issues with comments and I’m trying to resolve those. But I’m glad this one got through.
Thanks for buying my books. I trust they’ve been helpful. And congratulations on your new adventure. It sounds like a worthy cause!
Regarding data and variable, they are essentially interchangeable. Variables contain data. And data can be continuous, ordinal, etc. So, an ordinal variable is just a variable that contains ordinal data. If you record service quality using an ordinal scale, then the variable Service Quality is ordinal.
The types of variables/data apply equally to independent and dependent variables. In fact, a dependent variable in one model can be an independent variable in another model. For example, take our ordinal Service Quality variable (SQ). SQ can be the outcome that we’re predicting based on various other variables (shorter service times increase the likelihood of higher service quality ratings) or it can be a predictor in a different model (e.g., people who rate SQ High are more likely to be repeat customers).
In regression analysis, understanding the type of DV you have is essential for choosing the type of regression model . Click that link and you’ll see how I divide types of regression by DV types.
Additionally, you can have one type of DV but the model can contain entirely different types of IVs–or they can be the same. It all depends on what makes sense for the study area.
I hope that helps!
September 21, 2023 at 1:09 pm
First I say my heartfelt thanks to you for doing this wonderful job of teaching statistics in easy way. Yet I never come across an another blog or web page like this for statistics concepts.
You have explained the data type in nice and understandable manner but I need some clarification in it.
I have the data of number of male flowers and number of infected male flowers (both are countable data). I hope it come under in discrete data types. My objective is to see the difference between these two variables. What statistical tools should i use?
September 21, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m thrilled that my website has been helpful!
There’s a couple ways you can treat your data. They are countable and you can treat them as count data. With count data, often follow the Poisson distribution and you might use procedures with Poisson in the name, such as a 1 or 2sample Poisson rate test or Poisson regression.
However, my sense is that you’re probably better off treating it as binary data. The male flowers are either infected or uninfected. Using this approach, you’d have one variable, Infection Status, and that variable could only have the two possible values of infected/uninfected.
You could then calculate the proportion of infected male flowers and a CI using a test like a 1sample proportion test. Or, you could use something like binary logistic regression which models how various factors affect the probability of a flower becoming infected. That would assume you measured possible factors.
I think treating it a single binary variable is the better option, and finding proportions or using binary logistic regression. Read the section in this post about binary data for more information!
January 11, 2023 at 6:33 am
I am confused about which mathematical/arithmetic operations are possible with discrete data. Is only Addition and Subtraction possible? Or are multiplication and division also possible? Surely it can’t be equated with Continuous Data. But, if calculation of mean is possible with discrete data (Ur book Intro to Stat, pg 2930), can you compute the arithmetic mean only or the geometric mean as well?
January 12, 2023 at 8:40 pm
Basically, the same rules that apply to continuous data also apply to discrete data when you’re talking about integers (i.e., not categorical). When you have a natural zero value, you have ratio scale data and can perform multiplication and division with discrete integers. However, if there’s no natural zero, then you have interval scale data and only addition and subtraction are possible.
For more information, read my post about nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales . Pay particular attention to the interval and ratio scales and apply those ideas to discrete integers even though I talk about them in the context of continuous data.
To see an example of how, say, division works with integers. Imagine you have 30 kids and three rooms. You can’t have 29.5 kids or 2.5 rooms. These are truly discrete data values. Now suppose you want to evenly divide the 30 kids by 3 rooms, that give you 10 kids per room. The math works out. Division is ok. So is multiplication. Number of kids and rooms are both essentially ratio scale variables, but they happen to be integers.
May 17, 2022 at 9:55 am
Thanks for this post. My question is about plotting discrete data that models a normal distribution. For example, if we measured foot length of 16 year old boys, we would probably get a normal distribution and could plot this continuous data as a histogram. If we took the shoe size of the same boys and plotted it (shoe size being discrete data) we would get pretty much the same distribution as foot length. My question is (if my previous assumptions are correct) can we plot this as a histogram as shoe size is essentially representing a data bin? Or number of leaves on a sapling at two months – why do we have to separate the discrete points (number of leaves) when they could be any integer within a defined (I want to say continuous) range? Is shoe size categorical or ordinal or something else?
April 28, 2022 at 2:55 pm
Hai can you please explain to me any types of discreet and continuous pattern of data distribution and their influence on data analysis
February 10, 2022 at 11:32 pm
Thank you for your reply. So that discrete data (and the discrete variable with it) can take on negative and real values. Defining discrete data as the number of presences … is not enough right. I’m still a bit confused.
February 12, 2022 at 1:33 am
Hi, it’s discrete because it can only take on specific values in which there are no intermediate values. And it’s binary because there are only two discrete values.
Think of integers. They are whole numbers than can be both positive and negative. However, there are no values in between the integers. Hence, integers are discrete values even though they can have positive and negative values. Focus on the meaning of the word “discrete.” In this context, the relevant portion of the definition is, “individually separate and distinct.”
Your data can only have two values. There are no possible values in between in this context, Hence, discrete and binary.
February 9, 2022 at 11:46 pm
Hi Jim, First, thanks for your wonderful blog posts. They help me a lot. However, I got a bit confused about your definition of discrete data. Discrete data is count data –> integer and nonnegative values. For example, A = “The profit on a 2.5$ bet on black in roulette. Possible values: 2.5 and 2.5” —> which is type of this data
February 10, 2022 at 12:43 am
Going strictly by the wording, only 2.5 and 2.5, it’s a discrete variable. More specifically, it’s a binary variable because it can only take two values in that setting.
February 4, 2022 at 7:37 am
I hope you’re doing well.
I want to make ordinal data for post hoc analysis about percentage increase in blood pressure change before and after treatment, but the categories are overlapping as below: 1. max% decrease to 0% (0% means before and after have same value) 2. 0% to max% increase 3. 5% increase to max% increase 4. 10% increase to max% increase 5. 15% increase to max% increase
Is it possible to group them into one ordinal variable? If not, and I made them into nominal variable on each category, what is the suitable post hoc analysis for them?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Best regards, Hilman
February 5, 2022 at 11:28 pm
The ordinal categories must be mutually exclusive. If an observation falls within one ordinal category, it can fall within another. It’s a matter of correctly setting up those categories. Make sure they don’t overlap!
The ordinal categories belong to one variable. For example, you could have blood pressure change be your ordinal variable with the following four categories
No increase Small increase Medium increase Large increase
Each category would be associated with a range of percentage increases that make sense for the subject area. I’m not familiar with that area, so I don’t know what would constitute reasonable ranges.
But, again, you’d have the one ordinal variable with multiple, mutually exclusive categories. I showed an example with four categories, but it can be a different number.
I don’t know what analysis would be appropriate because I don’t know what you want to learn and whether you have any other data. Also, you should question whether converting your raw data into ordinal categories is the appropriate approach. Your raw data probably provides more detailed information than ordinal groups that merge multiple observations together, effectively throwing away some of the details.
Here’s a link to an article I wrote that talks about the different types of hypothesis tests for different data types .
October 1, 2021 at 8:11 am
Dear Jim, I am a psychiatrist and like to read the relevant portions of statitics from your list What all topics are important for my profession Thank you Dr P K Sukumaran
December 10, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Thanks for your reply, Jim. The example I was referring to was on page 56 of that document – I apologize for not making that clearer initially. The only rationale I can think of is it’s easier to see differences in averages using the slope of a line than trying to decipher differences in bar height. But from your response, it sounds like using a line is personal preference rather than any recognized rule. I’ll stick with my science training and use bar graphs for categorical data!
December 10, 2020 at 10:08 pm
Oh, ok, I see the example now. When you mentioned nominal and ordinal data I was thinking of a single nominal or ordinal variable. In that case, a bar chart with with no lines is appropriate. However, the example displays means for continuous data that are split into groups by a nominal (categorical) variable. In that scenario, it’s common practice to connect the means or medians by lines in those cases to highlight the differences between means.
December 8, 2020 at 2:53 pm
Your article takes a large amount of information and distills it into something understandable – thanks for sharing. Coming from a science background and then learning stats, it bothers me that nominal or ordinal data graphs often have a line connecting data points. For example, breeds of dogs and time to run 30m ( https://static.nsta.org/pdfs/samples/PB343Xweb.pdf ) . Is there a reason why statisticians often connect data points with a line when a simple bar graph would, in my opinion, be more accurate? I’d appreciate any input you have.
December 9, 2020 at 12:36 am
I agree with you that a bar chart is great nominal and ordinal data, and that there should not be connecting lines. My guess is that most trained statisticians won’t do that but I can imagine many others doing that. There’s no good reason.
I was interested in the document that you link to so I could see the example, but oddly it skips from the foreword to page 51. So, I can’t explain it!
September 29, 2020 at 10:35 am
Please I need help in basic statistics
September 30, 2020 at 4:12 pm
I highly recommend that you read my Introduction to Statistics book . It’ll help you understand statistics without all the jargon and confusion. I think it’s exactly what you need! It’s available as an ebook or in print. Click the link to read about what it covers.
August 22, 2020 at 8:27 am
i become your fan sir, this is awesome its really cleared all my doubt.
July 20, 2020 at 11:46 pm
Hi, Jim As a newbie, I found it easier to learn statistic from your excellent writing.
I’m doing reasearch using data of all banks in one country (population, not sample) from year 20002015. Loan ratio is the dependent variable. I might have issue with this variable due to different measurement. For year 20002005, loan ratio includes the lending for productive and consumptive activities, while since 2006 it only covers productive activities. Therefore, the figure of loan ratio drops significantly since 2006.
To handle this issue, can I add dummy variable in regression model that takes value 0 for year<= 2005, and value 1 for years after 2005? Or should I just use data from 2006, which means fewer observation? Fyi, there is no different measurement for all independent variables.
I look forward for your help. Many thanks
July 17, 2020 at 2:32 am
Thanks a lot Jim. Your notes are so simple to understand statistics. In this lockdown period and after long hours of searching online I finally found your articles which are just wow. Sincerely wish to thank you . I really appreciate your efforts.
January 10, 2020 at 6:12 am
Topics were addressed in a brilliant manner. Thanks a lot.
October 25, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Wow! Statistics made simple. I have never understood this much until now. Thank you for this writeup. Much appreciated!
October 25, 2019 at 2:04 pm
Hi Funmi, you’re very welcome. I strive to present statistics in a simple manner. Consequently, comments like yours absolutely make my day! Thanks for writing!
September 12, 2019 at 11:22 am
after searching lot of blogs post i found this blogs to get best conceptual start. on every post everyone was teaching math only here i can understand concept behind that method
January 31, 2018 at 4:56 am
Jim, I really enjoy your blog, as, especially the parts about regression have been extremely valuable for me. That being said, I have to dissent here mainly about pie charts.
I would generally advise against pie charts for various reasons
– they are hogging screen real estate. Face it: a circle is the most uneconomic way of display something on a rectangular screen – they give you a hard time distinguishing actual proportions, especially when the pie section do not differ that much – they tend to get messy with legends, descriptions and whatever – they are plain hell for men (mostly men) with colorsight impairment
I agree that they have some limited use but I wouldn’t use them with more than three data points.
Bar charts/column charts will generally give you a much better view on the data, proportions and all that. Look at the “New cars color” pie chart: a bar chart would allow for a much more intuitive view on the data.
You’ll find this all over the place in the internet, e.g. here: http://www.businessinsider.com/piechartsaretheworst20136?IR=T
I also would advise for distinguishing between bar charts (horizontal) and column charts (vertical). For categorical and ordinal data I always would use the former, as they give you more freedom (and more real estate) for descriptions on the category axis by retaining the general advantages of column charts.
And last but not least: time series data are IMO best depicted on a line chart.
January 31, 2018 at 10:28 am
Thanks for you thoughtful comment. Choosing the best graph to present information clearly can sometimes be as much art as science. The analyst’s preferences will also play a role in that choice.
Personally, I think pie charts are fine in certain cases. In particular, they are the best chart for conveying at a glance the fact that you’re looking at proportions of a whole. On a bar chart, you have to look at the axis carefully to understand this facet. Also, pie charts don’t necessarily have to take up more room than a bar chart. Although, I agree that when you have too many categories, the legend and labels can be too cluttered. Bar charts are better in those cases. I have to admit, I didn’t think of the color blindness issue. You have to weigh all of these factors!
There are defenders of pie charts as well.
I definitely agree about time series charts. At some point I’ll add it to this post!
Thanks again for the insightful comment! Jim
January 30, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Dear jim, Your written information about types of data are very beneficial and valuable. I proud of you that you are helping us by posting such types of lectures. Welldone sir. Sir as i commented on one of your earler post about binary data analysis. I, once again request you to please share more detailed information on catagorical regression in you own words or Sir if you have no time then please suggest me a relevant book name and its author name please. I want to learn more detail about categorical data analysis. Thanks Regards Sami ullah, Ph.D student of economics, Pakistan.
January 30, 2018 at 3:48 pm
Hi Sami, this is definitely on my list of topics to write about, but you’ll need a little patience! It’ll probably be a couple of months before I can get to it. If you need information earlier, most regression textbooks should talk about logistic regression analysis.
January 30, 2018 at 12:29 pm
I really appreciate this guide! But I have a question. Elsewhere I’ve seen data types differentiated by the acronym NOIR: Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio. In these situations “Qualitative” is replaced by “Categorical” (making two major groups Quantitative and Categorical instead of Quantitative and Qualitative), followed by two subgroups in each: Nominal and Ordinal as subgroups of Categorical; and Interval and Ratio as subgroups of Quantitative.
These differences can drive confusion on how to properly identify data types. It would be helpful to know how to appropriately combine all these terms into one cohesive Data type model. Could you offer any clarity on this?
Kind regards, Chuck Wynn
January 30, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Hi Chuck, I’m glad you found this guide to be useful. As you’ve noticed, there are different ways to classify data types. I’ve tried to include several alternative names for some of the data types. I did think of possibly including categorical as an AKA under qualitative. However, I already have a categorical group and I thought that would be confusing to have that twice! I did list “nominal” along with “attribute” as AKAs for categorical data.
The Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, and Ratio classification system was created by a psychologist and I wonder if this system is used more frequently is the field of psychology?
The difference between interval and ratio is that ratio has an absolute zero point while interval does not. While that is crucial for calculating ratios, it’s often not crucial when you’re graphing and statistically analyzing data. But, it can be an important point in terms of other types of interpretation. For instance 20 degrees Celsius is not twice 10 degrees Celsius.
I’ve tried to combine the two systems below. Parentheses indicate the NOIR classification terminology.
Quantitative: Continuous data (Ratio and Interval) Discrete data (Ratio but not Interval. Counts do have an absolute zero.)
Qualitative (Categorical): Categorical (Nominal) Binary (Nominal) Ordinal
I hope this helps and thanks for the interesting question! Jim
January 30, 2018 at 7:57 am
It is really informative in statistics.
January 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Thank you Yeshambel!
January 30, 2018 at 3:09 am
Thnks a lot I am honestly saying that I get a lot of concepts. ……by u Keep on God bless u. …
January 30, 2018 at 5:03 pm
Thank you Khursheed! I’m very happy that you found it to be helpful!
Comments and Questions Cancel reply
What Is Data Visualization: Brief Theory, Useful Tips and Awesome Examples
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By Al Boicheva
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Updated: June 23, 2022
To create data visualization in order to present your data is no longer just a nice to have skill. Now, the skill to effectively sort and communicate your data through charts is a musthave for any business in any field that deals with data. Data visualization helps businesses quickly make sense of complex data and start making decisions based on that data. This is why today we’ll talk about what is data visualization. We’ll discuss how and why does it work, what type of charts to choose in what cases, how to create effective charts, and, of course, end with beautiful examples.
So let’s jump right in. As usual, don’t hesitate to fasttravel to a particular section of your interest.
Article overview: 1. What Does Data Visualization Mean? 2. How Does it Work? 3. When to Use it? 4. Why Use it? 5. Types of Data Visualization 6. Data Visualization VS Infographics: 5 Main Differences 7. How to Create Effective Data Visualization?: 5 Useful Tips 8. Examples of Data Visualization
1. What is Data Visualization?
Data Visualization is a graphic representation of data that aims to communicate numerous heavy data in an efficient way that is easier to grasp and understand . In a way, data visualization is the mapping between the original data and graphic elements that determine how the attributes of these elements vary. The visualization is usually made by the use of charts, lines, or points, bars, and maps.
 Data Viz is a branch of Descriptive statistics but it requires both design, computer, and statistical skills.
 Aesthetics and functionality go hand in hand to communicate complex statistics in an intuitive way.
 Data Viz tools and technologies are essential for making datadriven decisions.
 It’s a fine balance between form and functionality.
 Every STEM field benefits from understanding data.
2. How Does it Work?
If we can see it, our brains can internalize and reflect on it. This is why it’s much easier and more effective to make sense of a chart and see trends than to read a massive document that would take a lot of time and focus to rationalize. We wouldn’t want to repeat the cliche that humans are visual creatures, but it’s a fact that visualization is much more effective and comprehensive.
In a way, we can say that data Viz is a form of storytelling with the purpose to help us make decisions based on data. Such data might include:
 Tracking sales
 Identifying trends
 Identifying changes
 Monitoring goals
 Monitoring results
 Combining data
3. When to Use it?
Data visualization is useful for companies that deal with lots of data on a daily basis. It’s essential to have your data and trends instantly visible. Better than scrolling through colossal spreadsheets. When the trends stand out instantly this also helps your clients or viewers to understand them instead of getting lost in the clutter of numbers.
With that being said, Data Viz is suitable for:
 Annual reports
 Presentations
 Social media micronarratives
 Informational brochures
 Trendtrafficking
 Candlestick chart for financial analysis
 Determining routes
Common cases when data visualization sees use are in sales, marketing, healthcare, science, finances, politics, and logistics.
4. Why Use it?
Short answer: decision making. Data Visualization comes with the undeniable benefits of quickly recognizing patterns and interpret data. More specifically, it is an invaluable tool to determine the following cases.
 Identifying correlations between the relationship of variables.
 Getting market insights about audience behavior.
 Determining value vs risk metrics.
 Monitoring trends over time.
 Examining rates and potential through frequency.
 Ability to react to changes.
5. Types of Data Visualization
As you probably already guessed, Data Viz is much more than simple pie charts and graphs styled in a visually appealing way. The methods that this branch uses to visualize statistics include a series of effective types.
Map visualization is a great method to analyze and display geographically related information and present it accurately via maps. This intuitive way aims to distribute data by region. Since maps can be 2D or 3D, static or dynamic, there are numerous combinations one can use in order to create a Data Viz map.
COVID19 Spending Data Visualization POGO by George Railean
The most common ones, however, are:
 Regional Maps: Classic maps that display countries, cities, or districts. They often represent data in different colors for different characteristics in each region.
 Line Maps: They usually contain space and time and are ideal for routing, especially for driving or taxi routes in the area due to their analysis of specific scenes.
 Point Maps: These maps distribute data of geographic information. They are ideal for businesses to pinpoint the exact locations of their buildings in a region.
 Heat Maps: They indicate the weight of a geographical area based on a specific property. For example, a heat map may distribute the saturation of infected people by area.
Charts present data in the form of graphs, diagrams, and tables. They are often confused with graphs since graphs are indeed a subcategory of charts. However, there is a small difference: graphs show the mathematical relationship between groups of data and is only one of the chart methods to represent data.
Infographic Data Visualization by Madeline VanRemmen
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the most basic types of charts in data visualization.
They use a series of bars that illustrate data development. They are ideal for lighter data and follow trends of no more than three variables or else, the bars become cluttered and hard to comprehend. Ideal for yearonyear comparisons and monthly breakdowns.
These familiar circular graphs divide data into portions. The bigger the slice, the bigger the portion. They are ideal for depicting sections of a whole and their sum must always be 100%. Avoid pie charts when you need to show data development over time or lack a value for any of the portions. Doughnut charts have the same use as pie charts.
They use a line or more than one lines that show development over time. It allows tracking multiple variables at the same time. A great example is tracking product sales by a brand over the years. Area charts have the same use as line charts.
Scatter Plot
These charts allow you to see patterns through data visualization. They have an xaxis and a yaxis for two different values. For example, if your xaxis contains information about car prices while the yaxis is about salaries, the positive or negative relationship will tell you about what a person’s car tells about their salary.
Unlike the charts we just discussed, tables show data in almost a raw format. They are ideal when your data is hard to present visually and aim to show specific numerical data that one is supposed to read rather than visualize.
Data Visualisation  To bee or not to bee by Aishwarya Anand Singh
For example, charts are perfect to display data about a particular illness over a time period in a particular area, but a table comes to better use when you also need to understand specifics such as causes, outcomes, relapses, a period of treatment, and so on.
6. Data Visualization VS Infographics
5 main differences.
They are not that different as both visually represent data. It is often you search for infographics and find images titled Data Visualization and the other way around. In many cases, however, these titles aren’t misleading. Why is that?
 Data visualization is made of just one element. It could be a map, a chart, or a table. Infographics , on the other hand, often include multiple Data Viz elements.
 Unlike data visualizations that can be simple or extremely complex and heavy, infographics are simple and target wider audiences. The latter is usually comprehensible even to people outside of the field of research the infographic represents.
 Interestingly enough, data Viz doesn’t offer narratives and conclusions, it’s a tool and basis for reaching those. While infographics, in most cases offer a story and a narrative. For example, a data visualization map may have the title “Air pollution saturation by region”, while an infographic with the same data would go “Areas A and B are the most polluted in Country C”.
 Data visualizations can be made in Excel or use other tools that automatically generate the design unless they are set for presentation or publishing. The aesthetics of infographics , however, are of great importance and the designs must be appealing to wider audiences.
 In terms of interaction, data visualizations often offer interactive charts, especially in an online form. Infographics, on the other hand, rarely have interaction and are usually static images.
While on topic, you could also be interested to check out these 50 engaging infographic examples that make complex data look great.
7. Tips to Create Effective Data Visualization
The process is naturally similar to creating Infographics and it revolves around understanding your data and audience. To be more precise, these are the main steps and best practices when it comes to preparing an effective visualization of data for your viewers to instantly understand.
1. Do Your Homework
Preparation is half the work already done. Before you even start visualizing data, you have to be sure you understand that data to the last detail.
Knowing your audience is undeniable another important part of the homework, as different audiences process information differently. Who are the people you’re visualizing data for? How do they process visual data? Is it enough to hand them a single pie chart or you’ll need a more indepth visual report?
The third part of preparing is to determine exactly what you want to communicate to the audience. What kind of information you’re visualizing and does it reflect your goal?
And last, think about how much data you’ll be working with and take it into account.
2. Choose the Right Type of Chart
In a previous section, we listed the basic chart types that find use in data visualization. To determine best which one suits your work, there are a few things to consider.
 How many variables will you have in a chart?
 How many items will you place for each of your variables?
 What will be the relation between the values (time period, comparison, distributions, etc.)
With that being said, a pie chart would be ideal if you need to present what portions of a whole takes each item. For example, you can use it to showcase what percent of the market share takes a particular product. Pie charts, however, are unsuitable for distributions, comparisons, and following trends through time periods. Bar graphs, scatter plots,s and line graphs are much more effective in those cases.
Another example is how to use time in your charts. It’s way more accurate to use a horizontal axis because time should run left to right. It’s way more visually intuitive.
3. Sort your Data
Start with removing every piece of data that does not add value and is basically excess for the chart. Sometimes, you have to work with a huge amount of data which will inevitably make your chart pretty complex and hard to read. Don’t hesitate to split your information into two or more charts. If that won’t work for you, you could use highlights or change the entire type of chart with something that would fit better.
Tip: When you use bar charts and columns for comparison, sort the information in an ascending or a descending way by value instead of alphabetical order.
4. Use Colors to Your Advantage
In every form of visualization, colors are your best friend and the most powerful tool. They create contrasts, accents, and emphasis and lead the eye intuitively. Even here, color theory is important.
When you design your chart, make sure you don’t use more than 5 or 6 colors. Anything more than that will make your graph overwhelming and hard to read for your viewers. However, color intensity is a different thing that you can use to your advantage. For example, when you compare the same concept in different periods of time, you could sort your data from the lightest shade of your chosen color to its darker one. It creates a strong visual progression, proper to your timeline.
Things to consider when you choose colors:
 Different colors for different categories.
 A consistent color palette for all charts in a series that you will later compare.
 It’s appropriate to use color blindfriendly palettes.
5. Get Inspired
Always put your inspiration to work when you want to be at the top of your game. Look through examples, infographics, and other people’s work and see what works best for each type of data you need to implement.
This Twitter account Data Visualization Society is a great way to start. In the meantime, we’ll also handpick some amazing examples that will get you in the mood to start creating the visuals for your data.
8. Examples for Data Visualization
As another art form, Data Viz is a fertile ground for some amazing welldesigned graphs that prove that data is beautiful. Now let’s check out some.
Dark Souls III Experience Data
We start with Meng Hsiao Wei’s personal project presenting his experience with playing Dark Souls 3. It’s a perfect example that infographics and data visualization are tools for personal designs as well. The research is pretty massive yet very professionally sorted into different types of charts for the different concepts. All data visualizations are made with the same color palette and look great in infographics.
My dark souls 3 playing data by Meng Hsiao Wei
Greatest Movies of all Time
Katie Silver has compiled a list of the 100 greatest movies of all time based on critics and crowd reviews. The visualization shows key data points for every movie such as year of release, oscar nominations and wins, budget, gross, IMDB score, genre, filming location, setting of the film, and production studio. All movies are ordered by the release date.
100 Greatest Movies Data Visualization by Katie Silver
The Most Violent Cities
Federica Fragapane shows data for the 50 most violent cities in the world in 2017. The items are arranged on a vertical axis based on population and ordered along the horizontal axis according to the homicide rate.
The Most Violent Cities by Federica Fragapane
Family Businesses as Data
These data visualizations and illustrations were made by Valerio Pellegrini for Perspectives Magazine. They show a pie chart with sector breakdown as well as a scatter plot for contribution for employment.
PERSPECTIVES MAGAZINE – Family Businesses by Valerio Pellegrini
Orbit Map of the Solar System
The map shows data on the orbits of more than 18000 asteroids in the solar system. Each asteroid is shown at its position on New Years’ Eve 1999, colored by type of asteroid.
An Orbit Map of the Solar System by Eleanor Lutz
The Semantics Of Headlines
Katja Flükiger has a take on how headlines tell the story. The data visualization aims to communicate how much is the selling influencing the telling. The project was completed at Maryland Institute College of Art to visualize references to immigration and colorcoding the value judgments implied by word choice and context.
The Semantics of Headlines by Katja Flükiger
Moon and Earthquakes
This data visualization works on answering whether the moon is responsible for earthquakes. The chart features the time and intensity of earthquakes in response to the phase and orbit location of the moon.
Moon and Earthquakes by Aishwarya Anand Singh
Dawn of the Nanosats
The visualization shows the satellites launched from 2003 to 2015. The graph represents the type of institutions focused on projects as well as the nations that financed them. On the left, it is shown the number of launches per year and satellite applications.
WIRED UK – Dawn of the by Nanosats by Valerio Pellegrini
Final Words
Data visualization is not only a form of science but also a form of art. Its purpose is to help businesses in any field quickly make sense of complex data and start making decisions based on that data. To make your graphs efficient and easy to read, it’s all about knowing your data and audience. This way you’ll be able to choose the right type of chart and use visual techniques to your advantage.
You may also be interested in some of these related articles:
 Infographics for Marketing: How to Grab and Hold the Attention
 12 Animated Infographics That Will Engage Your Mind from Start to Finish
 50 Engaging Infographic Examples That Make Complex Ideas Look Great
 Good Color Combinations That Go Beyond Trends: Inspirational Examples and Ideas
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Al Boicheva
Al is an illustrator at GraphicMama with outofthebox thinking and a passion for anything creative. In her free time, you will see her drooling over tattoo art, Manga, and horror movies.
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Scientific Method
8. data: using graphs and visual data.
Flip through any scientific journal or textbook and you’ll notice quickly that the text is interspersed with graphs and figures. In some journals, as much as 30% of the space is taken up by graphs (Cleveland, 1984), perhaps surpassing the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Although many magazines and newspapers also include graphs, the visual depiction of data is fundamental to science and represents something very different from the photographs and illustrations published in magazines and newspapers. Although numerical data are initially compiled in tables or databases, they are often displayed in a graphic form to help scientists visualize and interpret the variation, patterns, and trends within the data.
Data lie at the heart of any scientific endeavor. Scientists in different fields collect data in many different forms, from the magnitude and location of earthquakes , to the length of finch beaks, to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and so on. Visual representations of scientific data have been used for centuries – in the 1500s, for example, Copernicus drew schematic sketches of planetary orbits around the sun – but the visual presentation of numerical data in the form of graphs is a more recent development.
Using graphs to present numerical data
In 1786, William Playfair, a Scottish economist, published The Commercial and Political Atlas , which contained a variety of economic statistics presented in graphs. Among these was the image shown in Figure 1, a graph comparing exports from England with imports into England from Denmark and Norway from 1708 to 1780 (Playfair, 1786). (Incidentally, William Playfair was the brother of John Playfair, the geologist who elucidated James Hutton ‘s fundamental work on geological processes to the broader public. To learn more, see our module The Rock Cycle: Uniformitarianism and Recycling .)
Playfair’s graph displayed a powerful message very succinctly. The graph shows time on the horizontal (x) axis and money in English pounds on the vertical (y) axis. The yellow line shows the monetary value of imports to England from Denmark and Norway; the red line shows the monetary value of exports to Denmark and Norway from England. Although a table of numerical data would show the same information, it would not be immediately apparent that something important happened in about 1753: England began exporting more than it imported, placing the “balance in favour of England.” This simple visualization of a large numerical dataset made it easy to comprehend quickly.
Graphs and figures quickly became standard components of science and scientific communication, and the use of graphs has increased dramatically in scientific journals in recent years, almost doubling from an average of 35 graphs per journal issue to more than 60 between 1985 and 1994 (Zacks et al., 2002). This increase has been attributed to a number of causes, including the use of computer software programs that make producing graphs easy, as well as the production of increasingly large and complex datasets that require visualization to be interpreted.
Graphs are not the only form of visualized data , however – maps, satellite imagery, animations, and more specialized images like atomic orbital depictions are also composed of data, and have also become more common. Creating, using, and reading visual forms of data is just one type of data analysis and interpretation (see our Data Analysis and Interpretation module), but it is ubiquitous throughout all fields and methods of scientific investigation.
Comprehension Checkpoint
Representing data graphically
 means taking a photograph.
 makes it easier to interpret complex datasets.
Interpreting graphs
The majority of graphs published in scientific journals relate two variables . As many as 85% of graphs published in the journal Science , in fact, show the relationship between two variables, one on the xaxis and another on the yaxis (Cleveland, 1984). Although many other kinds of graphs exist, knowing how to fully interpret a twovariable graph can not only help anyone decipher the vast majority of graphs in the scientific literature but also offers a starting point for examining more complex graphs. As an example, imagine trying to identify any longterm trends in the data table that follows of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations taken over several years at Mauna Loa (Table 1; click on the excerpt below to see the complete data table).
The variables are straightforward – time in months in the top row of the table, years in the far left column of the table, and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) concentrations within the individual table cells . Yet, it is challenging for most people to make sense of that much numerical information. You would have to look carefully at the entire table to see any trends. But if we take the exact same data and plot it on a graph, this is what it looks like (Figure 2):
Reading a graph involves the following steps:
Describing the graph: The xaxis shows the variable of time in units of years, and the yaxis shows the range of the variable of CO 2 concentration in units of parts per million (ppm). The dots are individual measurements of concentrations – the numbers shown in Table 1. Thus, the graph is showing us the change in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations over time.
Describing the data and trends: The line connects consecutive measurements, making it easier to see both the short and longterm trends within the data. On the graph, it is easy to see that the concentration of atmospheric CO 2 steadily rose over time, from a low of about 315 ppm in 1958 to a current level of about 375 ppm. Within that longterm trend, it’s also easy to see that there are shortterm, annual cycles of about 5 ppm.
Making interpretations: On the graph, scientists can derive additional information from the numerical data, such as how fast CO 2 concentration is rising. This rate can be determined by calculating the slope of the longterm trend in the numerical data, and seeing this rate on a graph makes it easily apparent. While a keen observer may have been able to pick out of the table the increase in CO 2 concentrations over the five decades provided, it would be difficult for even a highly trained scientist to note the yearly cycling in atmospheric CO 2 in the numerical data – a feature elegantly demonstrated in the sawtooth pattern of the line.
Putting data into a visual format is one step in data analysis and interpretation , and welldesigned graphs can help scientists interpret their data. Interpretation involves explaining why there is a longterm rise in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations on top of an annual fluctuation, thus moving beyond the graph itself to put the data into context. Seeing the regular and repeating cycle of about 5 ppm, scientists realized that this fluctuation must be related to natural changes on the planet due to seasonal plant activity. Visual representation of these data also helped scientists to realize that the increase in CO 2 concentrations over the five decades shown occurs in parallel with the industrial revolution and thus are almost certainly related to the growing number of human activities that release CO 2 (IPCC, 2007).
It is important to note that neither one of these trends (the longterm rise or the annual cycling) nor the interpretation can be seen in a single measurement or data point. That’s one reason why you almost never hear scientists use the singular of the word data – datum. Imagine just one point on a graph. You could draw a trend line going through it in any direction. Rigorous scientific practice requires multiple data points to make a clear interpretation, and a graph can be critical not only in showing the data themselves, but in demonstrating on how much data a scientist is basing his or her interpretation.
We just followed a short, logical process to extract a lot of information from this graph. Although an infinite variety of data can appear in graphical form, this same procedure can apply when reading any kind of graph. To reiterate:
 Describe the graph: What does the title say? What variable is represented on the xaxis? What is on the yaxis? What are the units of measurement? What do the symbols and colors mean?
 Describe the data: What is the numerical range of the data? What kinds of patterns can you see in the distribution of the data as they are plotted?
 Interpret the data: How do the patterns you see in the graph relate to other things you know?
The same questions apply whether you are looking at a graph of two variables or something more complex. Because creating graphs is a form of data analysis and interpretation , it is important to scrutinize a scientist’s graphs as much as his or her written interpretation.
Graphs are important because they
 can make trends and patterns in the data clear.
 show one piece of data clearly.
Error and uncertainty estimation in visual data
Graphs and other visual representations of scientific information also commonly contain another key element of scientific data analysis – a measure of the uncertainty or error within measurements (see our Uncertainty, Error, and Confidence module). For example, the graph in Figure 3 presents mean measurements of mercury emissions from soil at various times over the course of a single day. The error bars on each vertical bar provide the standard deviation of each measurement. These error bars are included to demonstrate that the change in emissions with time are greater than the inherent variability within each measurement (see our Statistics in Science module for more information).
Graphical displays of data can also be used not just to display error, but to quantify error and uncertainty in a system . For example, Figure 4 shows a gas chromatograph of a fuel oil spill. Peaks in the chromatograph (the blue line) provide information about the chemicals identified in the spill, and the peak size can provide an estimate of the relative concentration of that specific chemical in the spill. However, before this information can be extracted from the graph, instrument error and uncertainty must be calculated (the red line) and subtracted from the peak area. As you can see in Figure 4, instrument variability decreases as you move from left to right in the graph, and in this case, the graphical display of the error is therefore critical to accurate analysis of the data.
Graphical displays of data are used to ___________ error.
 display and quantify
 conceal or hide
Misuse of scientific images
Poor use of graphics can highlight trends that don’t really exist, or can make real trends disappear. Some have tried to point out errors with the now widely accepted notion of climate change by using misleading graphics. Figure 5, below, is one such graphic that has appeared in print. The point drawn by the creator of this is that the bottom graph, which shows relatively little change in temperature over the past 1,000 years, disputes the top graph used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shows a recent, rapid temperature increase.
At first glance the bottom graph does seem to contradict the top graph. However, looking more closely you realize:
 The two graphs actually represent completely different datasets . The top graph is a representation of change in annual mean global temperature normalized to a 30year period, 19601990, whereas the bottom graph represents average temperatures in Europe compared to an average over the 20thcentury.
 In addition, the yaxes of the two graphs are displayed on differing scales – the bottom graph has more space between the 0.5° lines.
Both of these techniques tend to exaggerate the variability in the lower graph. However, the primary reason for the difference in the graphs is not actually shown in the graphs. The author of the graphic created the image on the bottom using different calculations that did not take into account all of the variables that climate scientists used to create the top graph. In other words, the graphs simply do not show the same data .
These are common techniques used to distort visual forms of data – manipulating axes, changing one of the variables in a comparison, changing calculations without full explanation – that can obscure a true comparison.
Visualizing spatial and threedimensional data
There are other kinds of visual data aside from graphs. You might think of a topographic map or a satellite image as a picture or a sketch of the surface of the earth, but both of these images are ways of visualizing spatial data. A topographic map shows data collected on elevation and the location of geographic features like lakes or mountain peaks (see Figure 6). These data may have been collected in the field by surveyors or by looking at aerial photographs, but nonetheless the map is not a picture of a region – it is a visual representation of data. The topographic map in Figure 6 is actually accomplishing a second goal beyond simply visualizing data: It is taking threedimensional data (variations in land elevation) and displaying them in two dimensions on a flat piece of paper.
Likewise, satellite images are commonly misunderstood to be photographs of the Earth from space, but in reality they are much more complex than that. A satellite records numerical data for each pixel, and it does so at certain predefined wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum (see our Light II: Electromagnetism module for more information). In other words, the image itself is a visualization of data that has been processed from the raw data received from the satellite. For example, the Landsat satellites record data in seven different wavelengths: three in the visible spectrum and four in the infrared wavelengths. The composite image of four of those wavelengths is displayed in the image of a portion of the Colorado Rocky Mountains shown in Figure 7. The large red region in the lower portion of the image is not red vegetation in the mountains; instead, it is a region with high values for emission of infrared (or thermal) wavelengths. In fact, this region was the site of a large forest fire, known as the Hayman Fire, a month prior to the acquisition of the satellite image in July 2002.
What do satellite images and topographic maps have in common?
 They are visual representations of data.
 They are photographs of a place.
Working with imagebased data
The advent of satellite imagery vastly expanded one data collection method: extracting data from an image. For example, from a series of satellite images of the Hayman Fire acquired while it was burning, scientists and forest managers were able to extract data about the extent of the fire (which burned deep into National Forest land where it could not be monitored by people on the ground), the rate of spread, and the temperature at which it was burning. By comparing two satellite images, they could find the area that had burned over the course of a day, a week, or a month. Thus, although the images themselves consist of numerical data, additional information can be extracted from these images as a form of data collection.
Another example can be taken from the realm of atomic physics. In 1666, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when light from the sun is passed through a prism, it separates into a characteristic rainbow of light. Almost 200 years after Newton, John Herschel and W. H. Fox Talbot demonstrated that when substances are heated and the light they give off is passed through a prism, each element gives off a characteristic pattern of bright lines of color, but they did not understand why (see Figure 8). In 1913, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr used these images to make a startling proposal: He suggested that the line spectra of elements were due to the movement of electrons between different orbitals, and thus these spectra could provide information regarding the electron configuration of the elements (see our Atomic Theory II: Ions, Isotopes, and Electron Shells module for more information). You can actually calculate the potential energy difference between electron orbitals in atoms by analyzing the color (and thus wavelength) of light emitted.
Photographs and videos are also visual data . In 2005, a group of scientists based in part at the Cornell Ornithology lab published their findings that a bird believed to be extinct in North America, the Ivorybilled Woodpecker, had been spotted in Arkansas (Fitzpatrick et al., 2005). Their primary evidence consisted of video footage and photographs of a bird in flight, which they included in their paper along with a detailed analysis of the features of the images and video that suggested that the bird was an Ivorybilled Woodpecker. (You can read the article and see the photographs here .)
Graphs for scientific communication
Many areas of study within science have more specialized graphs used for specific kinds of data . Evolutionary biologists, for example, use evolutionary trees or cladograms to show how species are related to each other, what characteristics they share, and how they evolve over time. Geologists use a type of graph called a stereonet that represents the inside of a hemisphere in order to depict the orientation of rock layers in threedimensional space. Many fields now use threedimensional graphs to represent three variables , though they may not actually represent threedimensional space.
Regardless of the exact type of graph, the creation of clear, understandable visualizations of data is of fundamental importance in all branches of science. In recognition of the critical contribution of visuals to science, the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science sponsor an annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, in which submissions are judged based on their visual impact, effective communication, and originality (NSF, 2007). Likewise, reading and interpreting graphs is a key skill at all levels, from the introductory student to the research scientist. Graphs are a key component of scientific research papers, where new data are routinely presented. Presenting the data from which conclusions are drawn allows other scientists the opportunity to analyze the data for themselves, a process whose purpose is to keep scientific experiments and analysis as objective as possible. Although tables are necessary to record the data, graphs allow readers to visualize complex datasets in a simple, concise manner.
Understanding graphs and other visual forms of data is an important skill for scientists. This module describes how to read and interpret graphs and introduces other types of visual data. With a look at various examples, it is clear how trends can be grasped easily when the data is shown in a visual form.
Key Concepts
 Visual representations of data are essential for both data analysis and interpretation.
 Visualization highlights trends and patterns in numeric datasets that might not otherwise be apparent.
 Understanding and interpreting graphs and other visual forms of data is a critical skill for scientists and students of science.
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Introduction to Graphs
Table of Contents
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15 December 2020
Read time: 6 minutes
Introduction
What are graphs?
What are the different types of data?
What are the different types of graphical representations?
The graph is nothing but an organized representation of data. It helps us to understand the data. Data are the numerical information collected through observation.
The word data came from the Latin word Datum which means “something given”
After a research question is developed, data is being collected continuously through observation. Then it is organized, summarized, classified, and then represented graphically.
Differences between Data and information: Data is the raw fact without any add on but the information is the meaning derived from data.
Data  Information 

Raw facts of things  Data with exact meaning 
No contextual meaning  Processed data and organized context 
Just numbers and text 
Introduction to GraphsPDF
The graph is nothing but an organized representation of data. It helps us to understand the data. Data are the numerical information collected through observation. Here is a downloadable PDF to explore more.
📥 

 Line and Bar Graphs Application
 Graphs in Mathematics & Statistics
What are the different Types of Data?
There are two types of Data :
Quantitative
The data which are statistical or numerical are known as Quantitive data. Quantitive data is generated through. Quantitative data is also known as Structured data. Experiments, Tests, Surveys, Market Report.
Quantitive data is again divided into Continuous data and Discrete data.
Continuous Data
Continuous data is the data which can have any value. That means Continuous data can give infinite outcomes so it should be grouped before representing on a graph.
 The speed of a vehicle as it passes a checkpoint
 The mass of a cooking apple
 The time taken by a volunteer to perform a task
Discrete Data
Discrete data can have certain values. That means only a finite number can be categorized as discrete data.
 Numbers of cars sold at a dealership during a given month
 Number of houses in certain block
 Number of fish caught on a fishing trip
 Number of complaints received at the office of airline on a given day
 Number of customers who visit at bank during any given hour
 Number of heads obtained in three tosses of a coin
Differences between Discrete and Continuous data
 Numerical data could be either discrete or continuous
 Continuous data can take any numerical value (within a range); For example, weight, height, etc.
 There can be an infinite number of possible values in continuous data
 Discrete data can take only certain values by finite ‘jumps’, i.e., it ‘jumps’ from one value to another but does not take any intermediate value between them (For example, number of students in the class)
Qualitative
Data that deals with description or quality instead of numbers are known as Quantitative data. Qualitative data is also known as unstructured data. Because this type of data is loosely compact and can’t be analyzed conventionally.
Different Types of Graphical Representations
There are many types of graph we can use to represent data. They are as follows,
A bar graph or chart is a way to represent data by rectangular column or bar. The heights or length of the bar is proportional to the values.
A line graph is a type of graph where the information or data is plotted as some dots which are known as markers and then they are added to each other by a straight line.
The line graph is normally used to represent the data that changes over time.
A histogram graph is a graph where the information is represented along with the height of the rectangular bar. Though it does look like a bar graph, there is a fundamental difference between them. With the histogram, each column represents a range of quantitative data when a bar graph represents categorical variables.
The other name of the pie chart is a circle graph. It is a circular chart where numerical information represents as slices or in fractional form or percentage where the whole circle is 100%.
 Stem and leaf plot
The stem and leaf plot is a way to represents quantitative data according to frequency ranges or frequency distribution.
In the stem and leaf plot, each data is split into stem and leaf, which is 32 will be split into 3 stems and 2 leaves.
Frequency table: Frequency means the number of occurrences of an event. A frequency distribution table is a graph or chart which shows the frequency of events. It is denoted as ‘f’ .
Pictograph or Pictogram is the earliest way to represents data in a pictorial form or by using symbols or images. And each image represents a particular number of things.
According to the abovementioned Pictograph, the number of Appels sold on Monday is 6x2=12.
 Scatter diagrams
Scatter diagram or scatter plot is a way of graphical representation by using cartesian coordinates of two variables. The plot shows the relationship between two variables. Below there is a data table as well as a Scattergram as per the given data.
ºc  

14.2º  $215 
16.4º  $325 
11.9º  $185 
15.2º  $332 
18.5º  $406 
22.1º  $522 
19.4º  $412 
25.1º  $614 
What is the meaning of Graphical representation?
Graphical representation is a way to represent and analyze quantitive data. A graph is a kind of a chart where data are plotted as variables across the coordinate. It became easy to analyze the extent of change of one variable based on the change of other variables.
Principles of graphical representation
The principles of graphical representation are algebraic. In a graph, there are two lines known as Axis or Coordinate axis. These are the Xaxis and Yaxis. The horizontal axis is the Xaxis and the vertical axis is the Yaxis. They are perpendicular to each other and intersect at O or point of Origin.
On the right side of the Origin, the Xaxis has a positive value and on the left side, it has a negative value. In the same way, the upper side of the Origin Yaxis has a positive value where the down one is with a negative value.
When Xaxis and yaxis intersected each other at the origin it divides the plane into four parts which are called Quadrant I, Quadrant II, Quadrant III, Quadrant IV.
The location on the coordinate plane is known as the ordered pair and it is written as (x,y). That means the first value will be on the xaxis and the second one is on the yaxis. When we will plot any coordinate, we always have to start counting from the origin and have to move along the xaxis, if it is positive then to the right side, and if it is negative then to the left side. Then from the xaxis, we have to plot the y’s value, which means we have to move up for positive value or down if the value is negative along with the yaxis.
In the following graph, 1st ordered pair (2,3) where both the values of x and y are positive and it is on quadrant I. 2nd ordered pair (3,1), here the value of x is negative and value of y is positive and it is in quadrant II. 3rd ordered pair (1.5, 2.5), here the value of x as well as y both are Negative and in quadrant III.
Methods of representing a frequency distribution
There are four methods to represent a frequency distribution graphically. These are,
 Smoothed Frequency graph
 Cumulative frequency graph or Ogive.
 Pie diagram.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Graphical representation of data
 It improves the way of analyzing and learning as the graphical representation makes the data easy to understand.
 It can be used in almost all fields from mathematics to physics to psychology and so on.
 It is easy to understand for its visual impacts.
 It shows the whole and huge data in an instance.
The main disadvantage of graphical representation of data is that it takes a lot of effort as well as resources to find the most appropriate data and then represents it graphically.
You may also like:
 Graphing a Quadratic Function
 Empirical Relationship Between Mean, Median, and Mode
Not only in mathematics but almost in every field the graph is a very important way to store, analyze, and represents information. After any research work or after any survey the next step is to organize the observation or information and plotting them on a graph paper or plane. The visual representation of information makes the understanding of crucial components or trends easier.
A huge amount of data can be store or analyze in a small space.
The graphical representation of data helps to decide by following the trend.
A complete Idea: Graphical representation constitutes a clear and comprehensive idea in the minds of the audience. Reading a large number (say hundreds) of pages may not help to make a decision. Anyone can get a clear idea just by looking into the graph or design.
Graphs are a very conceptual topic, so it is essential to get a complete understanding of the concept. Graphs are great visual aids and help explain numerous things better, they are important in everyday life. Get better at graphs with us, sign up for a free trial .
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is data.
Data are characteristics or information, usually numerical, that are collected through observation.
How do you differentiate between data and information?
Data is the raw fact without any add on but the information is the meaning derived from data.
What are the types of data?
There are two types of Data:
What are the ways to represent data?
Tables, charts and graphs are all ways of representing data , and they can be used for two broad purposes. The first is to support the collection, organisation and analysis of data as part of the process of a scientific study.
 Tables, charts and graphs are all ways of representing data, and they can be used for two broad purposes. The first is to support the collection, organisation and analysis of data as part of the process of a scientific study.
What are the different types of graphs?
Different types of graphs include:
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Graphical Representation of Data
Graphical Representation of Data: Graphical Representation of Data,” where numbers and facts become lively pictures and colorful diagrams . Instead of staring at boring lists of numbers, we use fun charts, cool graphs, and interesting visuals to understand information better. In this exciting concept of data visualization, we’ll learn about different kinds of graphs, charts, and pictures that help us see patterns and stories hidden in data.
There is an entire branch in mathematics dedicated to dealing with collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting numerical data in visual form in such a way that it becomes easy to understand and the data becomes easy to compare as well, the branch is known as Statistics .
The branch is widely spread and has a plethora of reallife applications such as Business Analytics, demography, Astro statistics, and so on . In this article, we have provided everything about the graphical representation of data, including its types, rules, advantages, etc.
Table of Content
What is Graphical Representation
Types of graphical representations, line graphs, histograms , stem and leaf plot , box and whisker plot .
 Graphical Representations used in Maths
ValueBased or Time Series Graphs
Frequency based, principles of graphical representations, advantages and disadvantages of using graphical system, general rules for graphical representation of data, frequency polygon, solved examples on graphical representation of data.
Graphics Representation is a way of representing any data in picturized form . It helps a reader to understand the large set of data very easily as it gives us various data patterns in visualized form.
There are two ways of representing data,
 Pictorial Representation through graphs.
They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It’s always better to represent data in a graphical format. Even in Practical Evidence and Surveys, scientists have found that the restoration and understanding of any information is better when it is available in the form of visuals as Human beings process data better in visual form than any other form.
Does it increase the ability 2 times or 3 times? The answer is it increases the Power of understanding 60,000 times for a normal Human being, the fact is amusing and true at the same time.
Check: Graph and its representations
Comparison between different items is best shown with graphs, it becomes easier to compare the crux of the data about different items. Let’s look at all the different types of graphical representations briefly:
A line graph is used to show how the value of a particular variable changes with time. We plot this graph by connecting the points at different values of the variable. It can be useful for analyzing the trends in the data and predicting further trends.
A bar graph is a type of graphical representation of the data in which bars of uniform width are drawn with equal spacing between them on one axis (xaxis usually), depicting the variable. The values of the variables are represented by the height of the bars.
This is similar to bar graphs, but it is based frequency of numerical values rather than their actual values. The data is organized into intervals and the bars represent the frequency of the values in that range. That is, it counts how many values of the data lie in a particular range.
It is a plot that displays data as points and checkmarks above a number line, showing the frequency of the point.
This is a type of plot in which each value is split into a “leaf”(in most cases, it is the last digit) and “stem”(the other remaining digits). For example: the number 42 is split into leaf (2) and stem (4).
These plots divide the data into four parts to show their summary. They are more concerned about the spread, average, and median of the data.
It is a type of graph which represents the data in form of a circular graph. The circle is divided such that each portion represents a proportion of the whole.
Graphical Representations used in Math’s
Graphs in Math are used to study the relationships between two or more variables that are changing. Statistical data can be summarized in a better way using graphs. There are basically two lines of thoughts of making graphs in maths:
 ValueBased or Time Series Graphs
These graphs allow us to study the change of a variable with respect to another variable within a given interval of time. The variables can be anything. Time Series graphs study the change of variable with time. They study the trends, periodic behavior, and patterns in the series. We are more concerned with the values of the variables here rather than the frequency of those values.
Example: Line Graph
These kinds of graphs are more concerned with the distribution of data. How many values lie between a particular range of the variables, and which range has the maximum frequency of the values. They are used to judge a spread and average and sometimes median of a variable under study.
Also read: Types of Statistical Data
 All types of graphical representations follow algebraic principles.
 When plotting a graph, there’s an origin and two axes.
 The xaxis is horizontal, and the yaxis is vertical.
 The axes divide the plane into four quadrants.
 The origin is where the axes intersect.
 Positive xvalues are to the right of the origin; negative xvalues are to the left.
 Positive yvalues are above the xaxis; negative yvalues are below.
 It gives us a summary of the data which is easier to look at and analyze.
 It saves time.
 We can compare and study more than one variable at a time.
Disadvantages
 It usually takes only one aspect of the data and ignores the other. For example, A bar graph does not represent the mean, median, and other statistics of the data.
 Interpretation of graphs can vary based on individual perspectives, leading to subjective conclusions.
 Poorly constructed or misleading visuals can distort data interpretation and lead to incorrect conclusions.
Check : Diagrammatic and Graphic Presentation of Data
We should keep in mind some things while plotting and designing these graphs. The goal should be a better and clear picture of the data. Following things should be kept in mind while plotting the above graphs:
 Whenever possible, the data source must be mentioned for the viewer.
 Always choose the proper colors and font sizes. They should be chosen to keep in mind that the graphs should look neat.
 The measurement Unit should be mentioned in the top right corner of the graph.
 The proper scale should be chosen while making the graph, it should be chosen such that the graph looks accurate.
 Last but not the least, a suitable title should be chosen.
A frequency polygon is a graph that is constructed by joining the midpoint of the intervals. The height of the interval or the bin represents the frequency of the values that lie in that interval.
Question 1: What are different types of frequencybased plots?
Types of frequencybased plots: Histogram Frequency Polygon Box Plots
Question 2: A company with an advertising budget of Rs 10,00,00,000 has planned the following expenditure in the different advertising channels such as TV Advertisement, Radio, Facebook, Instagram, and Printed media. The table represents the money spent on different channels.
Draw a bar graph for the following data.
 Put each of the channels on the xaxis
 The height of the bars is decided by the value of each channel.
Question 3: Draw a line plot for the following data
 Put each of the xaxis row value on the xaxis
 joint the value corresponding to the each value of the xaxis.
Question 4: Make a frequency plot of the following data:
 Draw the class intervals on the xaxis and frequencies on the yaxis.
 Calculate the midpoint of each class interval.
Class Interval  Mid Point  Frequency 
03  1.5  3 
36  4.5  4 
69  7.5  2 
912  10.5  6 
Now join the mid points of the intervals and their corresponding frequencies on the graph.
This graph shows both the histogram and frequency polygon for the given distribution.
Related Article:
Graphical Representation of Data Practical Work in Geography Class 12 What are the different ways of Data Representation What are the different ways of Data Representation? Charts and Graphs for Data Visualization
Conclusion of Graphical Representation
Graphical representation is a powerful tool for understanding data, but it’s essential to be aware of its limitations. While graphs and charts can make information easier to grasp, they can also be subjective, complex, and potentially misleading . By using graphical representations wisely and critically, we can extract valuable insights from data, empowering us to make informed decisions with confidence.
Graphical Representation of Data – FAQs
What are the advantages of using graphs to represent data.
Graphs offer visualization, clarity, and easy comparison of data, aiding in outlier identification and predictive analysis.
What are the common types of graphs used for data representation?
Common graph types include bar, line, pie, histogram, and scatter plots , each suited for different data representations and analysis purposes.
How do you choose the most appropriate type of graph for your data?
Select a graph type based on data type, analysis objective, and audience familiarity to effectively convey information and insights.
How do you create effective labels and titles for graphs?
Use descriptive titles, clear axis labels with units, and legends to ensure the graph communicates information clearly and concisely.
How do you interpret graphs to extract meaningful insights from data?
Interpret graphs by examining trends, identifying outliers, comparing data across categories, and considering the broader context to draw meaningful insights and conclusions.
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Graphic representation of data: meaning, principles and methods.
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Read this article to learn about the meaning, principles and methods of graphic representation of data.
Meaning of Graphic Representation of Data:
Graphic representation is another way of analysing numerical data. A graph is a sort of chart through which statistical data are represented in the form of lines or curves drawn across the coordinated points plotted on its surface.
Graphs enable us in studying the cause and effect relationship between two variables. Graphs help to measure the extent of change in one variable when another variable changes by a certain amount.
Graphs also enable us in studying both time series and frequency distribution as they give clear account and precise picture of problem. Graphs are also easy to understand and eye catching.
General Principles of Graphic Representation:
There are some algebraic principles which apply to all types of graphic representation of data. In a graph there are two lines called coordinate axes. One is vertical known as Y axis and the other is horizontal called X axis. These two lines are perpendicular to each other. Where these two lines intersect each other is called ‘0’ or the Origin. On the X axis the distances right to the origin have positive value (see fig. 7.1) and distances left to the origin have negative value. On the Y axis distances above the origin have a positive value and below the origin have a negative value.
Methods to Represent a Frequency Distribution:
Generally four methods are used to represent a frequency distribution graphically. These are Histogram, Smoothed frequency graph and Ogive or Cumulative frequency graph and pie diagram.
1. Histogram:
Histogram is a noncumulative frequency graph, it is drawn on a natural scale in which the representative frequencies of the different class of values are represented through vertical rectangles drawn closed to each other. Measure of central tendency, mode can be easily determined with the help of this graph.
How to draw a Histogram :
Represent the class intervals of the variables along the X axis and their frequencies along the Yaxis on natural scale.
Start X axis with the lower limit of the lowest class interval. When the lower limit happens to be a distant score from the origin give a break in the Xaxis n to indicate that the vertical axis has been moved in for convenience.
Now draw rectangular bars in parallel to Y axis above each of the class intervals with class units as base: The areas of rectangles must be proportional to the frequencies of the corresponding classes.
In this graph we shall take class intervals in the X axis and frequencies in the Y axis. Before plotting the graph we have to convert the class into their exact limits.
Advantages of histogram :
1. It is easy to draw and simple to understand.
2. It helps us to understand the distribution easily and quickly.
3. It is more precise than the polygene.
Limitations of histogram :
1. It is not possible to plot more than one distribution on same axes as histogram.
2. Comparison of more than one frequency distribution on the same axes is not possible.
3. It is not possible to make it smooth.
Uses of histogram :
1. Represents the data in graphic form.
2. Provides the knowledge of how the scores in the group are distributed. Whether the scores are piled up at the lower or higher end of the distribution or are evenly and regularly distributed throughout the scale.
3. Frequency Polygon. The frequency polygon is a frequency graph which is drawn by joining the coordinating points of the midvalues of the class intervals and their corresponding frequencies.
Let us discuss how to draw a frequency polygon:
Draw a horizontal line at the bottom of graph paper named ‘OX’ axis. Mark off the exact limits of the class intervals along this axis. It is better to start with c.i. of lowest value. When the lowest score in the distribution is a large number we cannot show it graphically if we start with the origin. Therefore put a break in the X axis () to indicate that the vertical axis has been moved in for convenience. Two additional points may be added to the two extreme ends.
Draw a vertical line through the extreme end of the horizontal axis known as OY axis. Along this line mark off the units to represent the frequencies of the class intervals. The scale should be chosen in such a way that it will make the largest frequency (height) of the polygon approximately 75 percent of the width of the figure.
Plot the points at a height proportional to the frequencies directly above the point on the horizontal axis representing the midpoint of each class interval.
After plotting all the points on the graph join these points by a series of short straight lines to form the frequency polygon. In order to complete the figure two additional intervals at the high end and low end of the distribution should be included. The frequency of these two intervals will be zero.
Illustration: No. 7.3 :
Draw a frequency polygon from the following data:
In this graph we shall take the class intervals (marks in mathematics) in X axis, and frequencies (Number of students) in the Y axis. Before plotting the graph we have to convert the c.i. into their exact limits and extend one c.i. in each end with a frequency of O.
Class intervals with exact limits:
Advantages of frequency polygon :
2. It is possible to plot two distributions at a time on same axes.
3. Comparison of two distributions can be made through frequency polygon.
4. It is possible to make it smooth.
Limitations of frequency polygon :
1. It is less precise.
2. It is not accurate in terms of area the frequency upon each interval.
Uses of frequency polygon :
1. When two or more distributions are to be compared the frequency polygon is used.
2. It represents the data in graphic form.
3. It provides knowledge of how the scores in one or more group are distributed. Whether the scores are piled up at the lower or higher end of the distribution or are evenly and regularly distributed throughout the scale.
2. Smoothed Frequency Polygon :
When the sample is very small and the frequency distribution is irregular the polygon is very jigjag. In order to wipe out the irregularities and “also get a better notion of how the figure might look if the data were more numerous, the frequency polygon may be smoothed.”
In this process to adjust the frequencies we take a series of ‘moving’ or ‘running’ averages. To get an adjusted or smoothed frequency we add the frequency of a class interval with the two adjacent intervals, just below and above the class interval. Then the sum is divided by 3. When these adjusted frequencies are plotted against the class intervals on a graph we get a smoothed frequency polygon.
Illustration 7.4 :
Draw a smoothed frequency polygon, of the data given in the illustration No. 7.3:
Here we have to first convert the class intervals into their exact limits. Then we have to determine the adjusted or smoothed frequencies.
3. Ogive or Cumulative Frequency Polygon:
Ogive is a cumulative frequency graphs drawn on natural scale to determine the values of certain factors like median, Quartile, Percentile etc. In these graphs the exact limits of the class intervals are shown along the Xaxis and the cumulative frequencies are shown along the Yaxis. Below are given the steps to draw an ogive.
Get the cumulative frequency by adding the frequencies cumulatively, from the lower end (to get a less than ogive) or from the upper end (to get a more than ogive).
Mark off the class intervals in the Xaxis.
Represent the cumulative frequencies along the Yaxis beginning with zero at the base.
Put dots at each of the coordinating points of the upper limit and the corresponding frequencies.
Join all the dots with a line drawing smoothly. This will result in curve called ogive.
Illustration No. 7.5 :
Draw an ogive from the data given below:
To plot this graph first we have to convert, the class intervals into their exact limits. Then we have to calculate the cumulative frequencies of the distribution.
Now we have to plot the cumulative frequencies in respect to their corresponding classintervals.
Ogive plotted from the data given above:
Uses of Ogive:
1. Ogive is useful to determine the number of students below and above a particular score.
2. When the median as a measure of central tendency is wanted.
3. When the quartiles, deciles and percentiles are wanted.
4. By plotting the scores of two groups on a same scale we can compare both the groups.
4. The Pie Diagram:
Figure given below shows the distribution of elementary pupils by their academic achievement in a school. Of the total, 60% are high achievers, 25% middle achievers and 15% low achievers. The construction of this pie diagram is quite simple. There are 360 degree in the circle. Hence, 60% of 360′ or 216° are counted off as shown in the diagram; this sector represents the proportion of high achievers students.
Ninety degrees counted off for the middle achiever students (25%) and 54 degrees for low achiever students (15%). The piediagram is useful when one wishes to picture proportions of the total in a striking way. Numbers of degrees may be measured off “by eye” or more accurately with a protractor.
Uses of Pie diagram :
1. Pie diagram is useful when one wants to picture proportions of the total in a striking way.
2. When a population is stratified and each strata is to be presented as a percentage at that time pie diagram is used.
Related Articles:
 5 Methods to Depict Frequency Distribution  Statistics
 Representing Data Graphically: 3 Methods  Statistics
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17 Data Visualization Techniques All Professionals Should Know
 17 Sep 2019
There’s a growing demand for business analytics and data expertise in the workforce. But you don’t need to be a professional analyst to benefit from datarelated skills.
Becoming skilled at common data visualization techniques can help you reap the rewards of datadriven decisionmaking , including increased confidence and potential cost savings. Learning how to effectively visualize data could be the first step toward using data analytics and data science to your advantage to add value to your organization.
Several data visualization techniques can help you become more effective in your role. Here are 17 essential data visualization techniques all professionals should know, as well as tips to help you effectively present your data.
Access your free ebook today.
What Is Data Visualization?
Data visualization is the process of creating graphical representations of information. This process helps the presenter communicate data in a way that’s easy for the viewer to interpret and draw conclusions.
There are many different techniques and tools you can leverage to visualize data, so you want to know which ones to use and when. Here are some of the most important data visualization techniques all professionals should know.
Data Visualization Techniques
The type of data visualization technique you leverage will vary based on the type of data you’re working with, in addition to the story you’re telling with your data .
Here are some important data visualization techniques to know:
 Gantt Chart
 Box and Whisker Plot
 Waterfall Chart
 Scatter Plot
 Pictogram Chart
 Highlight Table
 Bullet Graph
 Choropleth Map
 Network Diagram
 Correlation Matrices
1. Pie Chart
Pie charts are one of the most common and basic data visualization techniques, used across a wide range of applications. Pie charts are ideal for illustrating proportions, or parttowhole comparisons.
Because pie charts are relatively simple and easy to read, they’re best suited for audiences who might be unfamiliar with the information or are only interested in the key takeaways. For viewers who require a more thorough explanation of the data, pie charts fall short in their ability to display complex information.
2. Bar Chart
The classic bar chart , or bar graph, is another common and easytouse method of data visualization. In this type of visualization, one axis of the chart shows the categories being compared, and the other, a measured value. The length of the bar indicates how each group measures according to the value.
One drawback is that labeling and clarity can become problematic when there are too many categories included. Like pie charts, they can also be too simple for more complex data sets.
3. Histogram
Unlike bar charts, histograms illustrate the distribution of data over a continuous interval or defined period. These visualizations are helpful in identifying where values are concentrated, as well as where there are gaps or unusual values.
Histograms are especially useful for showing the frequency of a particular occurrence. For instance, if you’d like to show how many clicks your website received each day over the last week, you can use a histogram. From this visualization, you can quickly determine which days your website saw the greatest and fewest number of clicks.
4. Gantt Chart
Gantt charts are particularly common in project management, as they’re useful in illustrating a project timeline or progression of tasks. In this type of chart, tasks to be performed are listed on the vertical axis and time intervals on the horizontal axis. Horizontal bars in the body of the chart represent the duration of each activity.
Utilizing Gantt charts to display timelines can be incredibly helpful, and enable team members to keep track of every aspect of a project. Even if you’re not a project management professional, familiarizing yourself with Gantt charts can help you stay organized.
5. Heat Map
A heat map is a type of visualization used to show differences in data through variations in color. These charts use color to communicate values in a way that makes it easy for the viewer to quickly identify trends. Having a clear legend is necessary in order for a user to successfully read and interpret a heatmap.
There are many possible applications of heat maps. For example, if you want to analyze which time of day a retail store makes the most sales, you can use a heat map that shows the day of the week on the vertical axis and time of day on the horizontal axis. Then, by shading in the matrix with colors that correspond to the number of sales at each time of day, you can identify trends in the data that allow you to determine the exact times your store experiences the most sales.
6. A Box and Whisker Plot
A box and whisker plot , or box plot, provides a visual summary of data through its quartiles. First, a box is drawn from the first quartile to the third of the data set. A line within the box represents the median. “Whiskers,” or lines, are then drawn extending from the box to the minimum (lower extreme) and maximum (upper extreme). Outliers are represented by individual points that are inline with the whiskers.
This type of chart is helpful in quickly identifying whether or not the data is symmetrical or skewed, as well as providing a visual summary of the data set that can be easily interpreted.
7. Waterfall Chart
A waterfall chart is a visual representation that illustrates how a value changes as it’s influenced by different factors, such as time. The main goal of this chart is to show the viewer how a value has grown or declined over a defined period. For example, waterfall charts are popular for showing spending or earnings over time.
8. Area Chart
An area chart , or area graph, is a variation on a basic line graph in which the area underneath the line is shaded to represent the total value of each data point. When several data series must be compared on the same graph, stacked area charts are used.
This method of data visualization is useful for showing changes in one or more quantities over time, as well as showing how each quantity combines to make up the whole. Stacked area charts are effective in showing parttowhole comparisons.
9. Scatter Plot
Another technique commonly used to display data is a scatter plot . A scatter plot displays data for two variables as represented by points plotted against the horizontal and vertical axis. This type of data visualization is useful in illustrating the relationships that exist between variables and can be used to identify trends or correlations in data.
Scatter plots are most effective for fairly large data sets, since it’s often easier to identify trends when there are more data points present. Additionally, the closer the data points are grouped together, the stronger the correlation or trend tends to be.
10. Pictogram Chart
Pictogram charts , or pictograph charts, are particularly useful for presenting simple data in a more visual and engaging way. These charts use icons to visualize data, with each icon representing a different value or category. For example, data about time might be represented by icons of clocks or watches. Each icon can correspond to either a single unit or a set number of units (for example, each icon represents 100 units).
In addition to making the data more engaging, pictogram charts are helpful in situations where language or cultural differences might be a barrier to the audience’s understanding of the data.
11. Timeline
Timelines are the most effective way to visualize a sequence of events in chronological order. They’re typically linear, with key events outlined along the axis. Timelines are used to communicate timerelated information and display historical data.
Timelines allow you to highlight the most important events that occurred, or need to occur in the future, and make it easy for the viewer to identify any patterns appearing within the selected time period. While timelines are often relatively simple linear visualizations, they can be made more visually appealing by adding images, colors, fonts, and decorative shapes.
12. Highlight Table
A highlight table is a more engaging alternative to traditional tables. By highlighting cells in the table with color, you can make it easier for viewers to quickly spot trends and patterns in the data. These visualizations are useful for comparing categorical data.
Depending on the data visualization tool you’re using, you may be able to add conditional formatting rules to the table that automatically color cells that meet specified conditions. For instance, when using a highlight table to visualize a company’s sales data, you may color cells red if the sales data is below the goal, or green if sales were above the goal. Unlike a heat map, the colors in a highlight table are discrete and represent a single meaning or value.
13. Bullet Graph
A bullet graph is a variation of a bar graph that can act as an alternative to dashboard gauges to represent performance data. The main use for a bullet graph is to inform the viewer of how a business is performing in comparison to benchmarks that are in place for key business metrics.
In a bullet graph, the darker horizontal bar in the middle of the chart represents the actual value, while the vertical line represents a comparative value, or target. If the horizontal bar passes the vertical line, the target for that metric has been surpassed. Additionally, the segmented colored sections behind the horizontal bar represent range scores, such as “poor,” “fair,” or “good.”
14. Choropleth Maps
A choropleth map uses color, shading, and other patterns to visualize numerical values across geographic regions. These visualizations use a progression of color (or shading) on a spectrum to distinguish high values from low.
Choropleth maps allow viewers to see how a variable changes from one region to the next. A potential downside to this type of visualization is that the exact numerical values aren’t easily accessible because the colors represent a range of values. Some data visualization tools, however, allow you to add interactivity to your map so the exact values are accessible.
15. Word Cloud
A word cloud , or tag cloud, is a visual representation of text data in which the size of the word is proportional to its frequency. The more often a specific word appears in a dataset, the larger it appears in the visualization. In addition to size, words often appear bolder or follow a specific color scheme depending on their frequency.
Word clouds are often used on websites and blogs to identify significant keywords and compare differences in textual data between two sources. They are also useful when analyzing qualitative datasets, such as the specific words consumers used to describe a product.
16. Network Diagram
Network diagrams are a type of data visualization that represent relationships between qualitative data points. These visualizations are composed of nodes and links, also called edges. Nodes are singular data points that are connected to other nodes through edges, which show the relationship between multiple nodes.
There are many use cases for network diagrams, including depicting social networks, highlighting the relationships between employees at an organization, or visualizing product sales across geographic regions.
17. Correlation Matrix
A correlation matrix is a table that shows correlation coefficients between variables. Each cell represents the relationship between two variables, and a color scale is used to communicate whether the variables are correlated and to what extent.
Correlation matrices are useful to summarize and find patterns in large data sets. In business, a correlation matrix might be used to analyze how different data points about a specific product might be related, such as price, advertising spend, launch date, etc.
Other Data Visualization Options
While the examples listed above are some of the most commonly used techniques, there are many other ways you can visualize data to become a more effective communicator. Some other data visualization options include:
 Bubble clouds
 Circle views
 Dendrograms
 Dot distribution maps
 Openhighlowclose charts
 Polar areas
 Radial trees
 Ring Charts
 Sankey diagram
 Span charts
 Streamgraphs
 Wedge stack graphs
 Violin plots
Tips For Creating Effective Visualizations
Creating effective data visualizations requires more than just knowing how to choose the best technique for your needs. There are several considerations you should take into account to maximize your effectiveness when it comes to presenting data.
Related : What to Keep in Mind When Creating Data Visualizations in Excel
One of the most important steps is to evaluate your audience. For example, if you’re presenting financial data to a team that works in an unrelated department, you’ll want to choose a fairly simple illustration. On the other hand, if you’re presenting financial data to a team of finance experts, it’s likely you can safely include more complex information.
Another helpful tip is to avoid unnecessary distractions. Although visual elements like animation can be a great way to add interest, they can also distract from the key points the illustration is trying to convey and hinder the viewer’s ability to quickly understand the information.
Finally, be mindful of the colors you utilize, as well as your overall design. While it’s important that your graphs or charts are visually appealing, there are more practical reasons you might choose one color palette over another. For instance, using low contrast colors can make it difficult for your audience to discern differences between data points. Using colors that are too bold, however, can make the illustration overwhelming or distracting for the viewer.
Related : Bad Data Visualization: 5 Examples of Misleading Data
Visuals to Interpret and Share Information
No matter your role or title within an organization, data visualization is a skill that’s important for all professionals. Being able to effectively present complex data through easytounderstand visual representations is invaluable when it comes to communicating information with members both inside and outside your business.
There’s no shortage in how data visualization can be applied in the real world. Data is playing an increasingly important role in the marketplace today, and data literacy is the first step in understanding how analytics can be used in business.
Are you interested in improving your analytical skills? Learn more about Business Analytics , our eightweek online course that can help you use data to generate insights and tackle business decisions.
This post was updated on January 20, 2022. It was originally published on September 17, 2019.
About the Author
18 Best Types of Charts and Graphs for Data Visualization [+ Guide]
Published: May 22, 2024
As a writer for the marketing blog, I frequently use various types of charts and graphs to help readers visualize the data I collect and better understand their significance. And trust me, there's a lot of data to present.
In fact, the volume of data in 2025 will be almost double the data we create, capture, copy, and consume today.
This makes data visualization essential for businesses. Different types of graphs and charts can help you:
 Motivate your team to take action.
 Impress stakeholders with goal progress.
 Show your audience what you value as a business.
Data visualization builds trust and can organize diverse teams around new initiatives. So, I'm going to talk about the types of graphs and charts that you can use to grow your business.
And, if you still need a little more guidance by the end of this post, check out our data visualization guide for more information on how to design visually stunning and engaging charts and graphs.
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Charts vs Graphs: What's the Difference?
A lot of people think charts and graphs are synonymous (I know I did), but they're actually two different things.
Charts visually represent current data in the form of tables and diagrams, but graphs are more numerical in data and show how one variable affects another.
For example, in one of my favorite sitcoms, How I Met Your Mother, Marshall creates a bunch of charts and graphs representing his life. One of these charts is a Venn diagram referencing the song "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkle.
Marshall says, "This circle represents people who are breaking my heart, and this circle represents people who are shaking my confidence daily. Where they overlap? Cecilia."
The diagram is a chart and not a graph because it doesn't track how these people make him feel over time or how these variables are influenced by each other.
It may show where the two types of people intersect but not how they influence one another.
Later, Marshall makes a line graph showing how his friends' feelings about his charts have changed in the time since presenting his "Cecilia diagram.
Note: He calls the line graph a chart on the show, but it's acceptable because the nature of line graphs and charts makes the terms interchangeable. I'll explain later, I promise.
The line graph shows how the time since showing his Cecilia chart has influenced his friends' tolerance for his various graphs and charts.
Image source
I can't even begin to tell you all how happy I am to reference my favorite HIMYM joke in this post.
Now, let's dive into the various types of graphs and charts.
Different Types of Graphs for Data Visualization
1. bar graph.
I strongly suggest using a bar graph to avoid clutter when one data label is long or if you have more than 10 items to compare. Also, fun fact: If the example below was vertical it would be a column graph.
Best Use Cases for These Types of Graphs
Bar graphs can help track changes over time. I've found that bar graphs are most useful when there are big changes or to show how one group compares against other groups.
The example above compares the number of customers by business role. It makes it easy to see that there is more than twice the number of customers per role for individual contributors than any other group.
A bar graph also makes it easy to see which group of data is highest or most common.
For example, at the start of the pandemic, online businesses saw a big jump in traffic. So, if you want to look at monthly traffic for an online business, a bar graph would make it easy to see that jump.
Other use cases for bar graphs include:
 Product comparisons.
 Product usage.
 Category comparisons.
 Marketing traffic by month or year.
 Marketing conversions.
Design Best Practices for Bar Graphs
 Use consistent colors throughout the chart, selecting accent colors to highlight meaningful data points or changes over time.
You should also use horizontal labels to improve its readability, and start the yaxis at 0 to appropriately reflect the values in your graph.
2. Line Graph
A line graph reveals trends or progress over time, and you can use it to show many different categories of data. You should use it when you track a continuous data set.
This makes the terms line graphs and line charts interchangeable because the very nature of both is to track how variables impact each other, particularly how something changes over time. Yeah, it confused me, too.
Line graphs help users track changes over short and long periods. Because of this, I find these types of graphs are best for seeing small changes.
Line graphs help me compare changes for more than one group over the same period. They're also helpful for measuring how different groups relate to each other.
A business might use this graph to compare sales rates for different products or services over time.
These charts are also helpful for measuring service channel performance. For example, a line graph that tracks how many chats or emails your team responds to per month.
Design Best Practices for Line Graphs
 Use solid lines only.
 Don't plot more than four lines to avoid visual distractions.
 Use the right height so the lines take up roughly 2/3 of the yaxis' height.
3. Bullet Graph
A bullet graph reveals progress towards a goal, compares this to another measure, and provides context in the form of a rating or performance.
In the example above, the bullet graph shows the number of new customers against a set customer goal. Bullet graphs are great for comparing performance against goals like this.
These types of graphs can also help teams assess possible roadblocks because you can analyze data in a tight visual display.
For example, I could create a series of bullet graphs measuring performance against benchmarks or use a single bullet graph to visualize these KPIs against their goals:
 Customer satisfaction.
 Average order size.
 New customers.
Seeing this data at a glance and alongside each other can help teams make quick decisions.
Bullet graphs are one of the best ways to display yearoveryear data analysis. YBullet graphs can also visualize:
 Customer satisfaction scores.
 Customer shopping habits.
 Social media usage by platform.
Design Best Practices for Bullet Graphs
 Use contrasting colors to highlight how the data is progressing.
 Use one color in different shades to gauge progress.
4. Column + Line Graph
Column + line graphs are also called dualaxis charts. They consist of a column and line graph together, with both graphics on the X axis but occupying their own Y axis.
Download our FREE Excel Graph Templates for this graph and more!
Best Use Cases
These graphs are best for comparing two data sets with different measurement units, such as rate and time.
As a marketer, you may want to track two trends at once.
Design Best Practices
Use individual colors for the lines and colors to make the graph more visually appealing and to further differentiate the data.
The Four Basic Types of Charts
Before we get into charts, I want to touch on the four basic chart types that I use the most.
1. Bar Chart
Bar charts are pretty selfexplanatory. I use them to indicate values by the length of bars, which can be displayed horizontally or vertically. Vertical bar charts, like the one below, are sometimes called column charts.
2. Line Chart
I use line charts to show changes in values across continuous measurements, such as across time, generations, or categories. For example, the chart below shows the changes in ice cream sales throughout the week.
3. Scatter Plot
A scatter plot uses dotted points to compare values against two different variables on separate axes. It's commonly used to show correlations between values and variables.
4. Pie Chart
Pie charts are charts that represent data in a circular (pieshaped) graphic, and each slice represents a percentage or portion of the whole.
Notice the example below of a household budget. (Which reminds me that I need to set up my own.)
Notice that the percentage of income going to each expense is represented by a slice.
Different Types of Charts for Data Visualization
To better understand chart types and how you can use them, here's an overview of each:
1. Column Chart
Use a column chart to show a comparison among different items or to show a comparison of items over time. You could use this format to see the revenue per landing page or customers by close date.
Best Use Cases for This Type of Chart
I use both column charts to display changes in data, but I've noticed column charts are best for negative data. The main difference, of course, is that column charts show information vertically while bar charts show data horizontally.
For example, warehouses often track the number of accidents on the shop floor. When the number of incidents falls below the monthly average, a column chart can make that change easier to see in a presentation.
In the example above, this column chart measures the number of customers by close date. Column charts make it easy to see data changes over a period of time. This means that they have many use cases, including:
 Customer survey data, like showing how many customers prefer a specific product or how much a customer uses a product each day.
 Sales volume, like showing which services are the top sellers each month or the number of sales per week.
 Profit and loss, showing where business investments are growing or falling.
Design Best Practices for Column Charts
 Use horizontal labels to improve readability.
 Start the yaxis at 0 to appropriately reflect the values in your chart .
2. Area Chart
Okay, an area chart is basically a line chart, but I swear there's a meaningful difference.
The space between the xaxis and the line is filled with a color or pattern. It is useful for showing parttowhole relations, like showing individual sales reps’ contributions to total sales for a year.
It helps me analyze both overall and individual trend information.
Best Use Cases for These Types of Charts
Area charts help show changes over time. They work best for big differences between data sets and help visualize big trends.
For example, the chart above shows users by creation date and life cycle stage.
A line chart could show more subscribers than marketing qualified leads. But this area chart emphasizes how much bigger the number of subscribers is than any other group.
These charts make the size of a group and how groups relate to each other more visually important than data changes over time.
Area charts can help your business to:
 Visualize which product categories or products within a category are most popular.
 Show key performance indicator (KPI) goals vs. outcomes.
 Spot and analyze industry trends.
Design Best Practices for Area Charts
 Use transparent colors so information isn't obscured in the background.
 Don't display more than four categories to avoid clutter.
 Organize highly variable data at the top of the chart to make it easy to read.
3. Stacked Bar Chart
I suggest using this chart to compare many different items and show the composition of each item you’re comparing.
These charts are helpful when a group starts in one column and moves to another over time.
For example, the difference between a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL) is sometimes hard to see. The chart above helps stakeholders see these two lead types from a single point of view — when a lead changes from MQL to SQL.
Stacked bar charts are excellent for marketing. They make it simple to add a lot of data on a single chart or to make a point with limited space.
These charts can show multiple takeaways, so they're also super for quarterly meetings when you have a lot to say but not a lot of time to say it.
Stacked bar charts are also a smart option for planning or strategy meetings. This is because these charts can show a lot of information at once, but they also make it easy to focus on one stack at a time or move data as needed.
You can also use these charts to:
 Show the frequency of survey responses.
 Identify outliers in historical data.
 Compare a part of a strategy to its performance as a whole.
Design Best Practices for Stacked Bar Charts
 Best used to illustrate parttowhole relationships.
 Use contrasting colors for greater clarity.
 Make the chart scale large enough to view group sizes in relation to one another.
4. Mekko Chart
Also known as a Marimekko chart, this type of chart can compare values, measure each one's composition, and show data distribution across each one.
It's similar to a stacked bar, except the Mekko's xaxis can capture another dimension of your values — instead of time progression, like column charts often do. In the graphic below, the xaxis compares the cities to one another.
Image Source
I typically use a Mekko chart to show growth, market share, or competitor analysis.
For example, the Mekko chart above shows the market share of asset managers grouped by location and the value of their assets. This chart clarifies which firms manage the most assets in different areas.
It's also easy to see which asset managers are the largest and how they relate to each other.
Mekko charts can seem more complex than other types of charts, so it's best to use these in situations where you want to emphasize scale or differences between groups of data.
Other use cases for Mekko charts include:
 Detailed profit and loss statements.
 Revenue by brand and region.
 Product profitability.
 Share of voice by industry or niche.
Design Best Practices for Mekko Charts
 Vary your bar heights if the portion size is an important point of comparison.
 Don't include too many composite values within each bar. Consider reevaluating your presentation if you have a lot of data.
 Order your bars from left to right in such a way that exposes a relevant trend or message.
5. Pie Chart
Remember, a pie chart represents numbers in percentages, and the total sum of all segments needs to equal 100%.
The image above shows another example of customers by role in the company.
The bar chart example shows you that there are more individual contributors than any other role. But this pie chart makes it clear that they make up over 50% of customer roles.
Pie charts make it easy to see a section in relation to the whole, so they are good for showing:
 Customer personas in relation to all customers.
 Revenue from your most popular products or product types in relation to all product sales.
 Percent of total profit from different store locations.
Design Best Practices for Pie Charts
 Don't illustrate too many categories to ensure differentiation between slices.
 Ensure that the slice values add up to 100%.
 Order slices according to their size.
6. Scatter Plot Chart
As I said earlier, a scatter plot or scattergram chart will show the relationship between two different variables or reveal distribution trends.
Use this chart when there are many different data points, and you want to highlight similarities in the data set. This is useful when looking for outliers or understanding your data's distribution.
Scatter plots are helpful in situations where you have too much data to see a pattern quickly. They are best when you use them to show relationships between two large data sets.
In the example above, this chart shows how customer happiness relates to the time it takes for them to get a response.
This type of chart makes it easy to compare two data sets. Use cases might include:
 Employment and manufacturing output.
 Retail sales and inflation.
 Visitor numbers and outdoor temperature.
 Sales growth and tax laws.
Try to choose two data sets that already have a positive or negative relationship. That said, this type of chart can also make it easier to see data that falls outside of normal patterns.
Design Best Practices for Scatter Plots
 Include more variables, like different sizes, to incorporate more data.
 Start the yaxis at 0 to represent data accurately.
 If you use trend lines, only use a maximum of two to make your plot easy to understand.
7. Bubble Chart
A bubble chart is similar to a scatter plot in that it can show distribution or relationship. There is a third data set shown by the size of the bubble or circle.
In the example above, the number of hours spent online isn't just compared to the user's age, as it would be on a scatter plot chart.
Instead, you can also see how the gender of the user impacts time spent online.
This makes bubble charts useful for seeing the rise or fall of trends over time. It also lets you add another option when you're trying to understand relationships between different segments or categories.
For example, if you want to launch a new product, this chart could help you quickly see your new product's cost, risk, and value. This can help you focus your energies on a lowrisk new product with a high potential return.
You can also use bubble charts for:
 Top sales by month and location.
 Customer satisfaction surveys.
 Store performance tracking.
 Marketing campaign reviews.
Design Best Practices for Bubble Charts
 Scale bubbles according to area, not diameter.
 Make sure labels are clear and visible.
 Use circular shapes only.
8. Waterfall Chart
I sometimes use a waterfall chart to show how an initial value changes with intermediate values — either positive or negative — and results in a final value.
Use this chart to reveal the composition of a number. An example of this would be to showcase how different departments influence overall company revenue and lead to a specific profit number.
The most common use case for a funnel chart is the marketing or sales funnel. But there are many other ways to use this versatile chart.
If you have at least four stages of sequential data, this chart can help you easily see what inputs or outputs impact the final results.
For example, a funnel chart can help you see how to improve your buyer journey or shopping cart workflow. This is because it can help pinpoint major dropoff points.
Other stellar options for these types of charts include:
 Deal pipelines.
 Conversion and retention analysis.
 Bottlenecks in manufacturing and other multistep processes.
 Marketing campaign performance.
 Website conversion tracking.
Design Best Practices for Funnel Charts
 Scale the size of each section to accurately reflect the size of the data set.
 Use contrasting colors or one color in graduated hues, from darkest to lightest, as the size of the funnel decreases.
10. Heat Map
A heat map shows the relationship between two items and provides rating information, such as high to low or poor to excellent. This chart displays the rating information using varying colors or saturation.
Best Use Cases for Heat Maps
In the example above, the darker the shade of green shows where the majority of people agree.
With enough data, heat maps can make a viewpoint that might seem subjective more concrete. This makes it easier for a business to act on customer sentiment.
There are many uses for these types of charts. In fact, many tech companies use heat map tools to gauge user experience for apps, online tools, and website design .
Another common use for heat map charts is location assessment. If you're trying to find the right location for your new store, these maps can give you an idea of what the area is like in ways that a visit can't communicate.
Heat maps can also help with spotting patterns, so they're good for analyzing trends that change quickly, like ad conversions. They can also help with:
 Competitor research.
 Customer sentiment.
 Sales outreach.
 Campaign impact.
 Customer demographics.
Design Best Practices for Heat Map
 Use a basic and clear map outline to avoid distracting from the data.
 Use a single color in varying shades to show changes in data.
 Avoid using multiple patterns.
11. Gantt Chart
The Gantt chart is a horizontal chart that dates back to 1917. This chart maps the different tasks completed over a period of time.
Gantt charting is one of the most essential tools for project managers. It brings all the completed and uncompleted tasks into one place and tracks the progress of each.
While the left side of the chart displays all the tasks, the right side shows the progress and schedule for each of these tasks.
This chart type allows you to:
 Break projects into tasks.
 Track the start and end of the tasks.
 Set important events, meetings, and announcements.
 Assign tasks to the team and individuals.
I use donut charts for the same use cases as pie charts, but I tend to prefer the former because of the added benefit that the data is easier to read.
Another benefit to donut charts is that the empty center leaves room for extra layers of data, like in the examples above.
Design Best Practices for Donut Charts
Use varying colors to better differentiate the data being displayed, just make sure the colors are in the same palette so viewers aren't put off by clashing hues.
14. Sankey Diagram
A Sankey Diagram visually represents the flow of data between categories, with the link width reflecting the amount of flow. It’s a powerful tool for uncovering the stories hidden in your data.
As data grows more complex, charts must evolve to handle these intricate relationships. Sankey Diagrams excel at this task.
With ChartExpo , you can create a Sankey Chart with up to eight levels, offering multiple perspectives for analyzing your data. Even the most complicated data sets become manageable and easy to interpret.
You can customize your Sankey charts and every component including nodes, links, stats, text, colors, and more. ChartExpo is an addin in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Power BI, you can create beautiful Sankey diagrams while keeping your data safe in your favorite tools.
Sankey diagrams can be used to visualize all types of data which contain a flow of information. It beautifully connects the flows and presents the data in an optimum way.
Here are a few use cases:
 Sankey diagrams are widely used to visualize energy production, consumption, and distribution. They help in tracking how energy flows from one source (like oil or gas) to various uses (heating, electricity, transportation).
 Businesses use Sankey diagrams to trace customer interactions across different channels and touchpoints. It highlights the flow of users through a funnel or process, revealing dropoff points and success paths.
 I n supply chain management, these diagrams show how resources, products, or information flow between suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers, identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
Design Best Practices for Sankey Diagrams
When utilizing a Sankey diagram, it is essential to maintain simplicity while ensuring accuracy in proportions. Clear labeling and effective color usage are key factors to consider. Emphasizing the logical flow direction and highlighting significant flows will enhance the visualization.
How to Choose the Right Chart or Graph for Your Data
Channels like social media or blogs have multiple data sources, and managing these complex content assets can get overwhelming. What should you be tracking? What matters most?
How do you visualize and analyze the data so you can extract insights and actionable information?
1. Identify your goals for presenting the data.
Before creating any databased graphics, I ask myself if I want to convince or clarify a point. Am I trying to visualize data that helped me solve a problem? Or am I trying to communicate a change that's happening?
A chart or graph can help compare different values, understand how different parts impact the whole, or analyze trends. Charts and graphs can also be useful for recognizing data that veers away from what you’re used to or help you see relationships between groups.
So, clarify your goals then use them to guide your chart selection.
2. Figure out what data you need to achieve your goal.
Different types of charts and graphs use different kinds of data. Graphs usually represent numerical data, while charts are visual representations of data that may or may not use numbers.
So, while all graphs are a type of chart, not all charts are graphs. If you don't already have the kind of data you need, you might need to spend some time putting your data together before building your chart.
3. Gather your data.
Most businesses collect numerical data regularly, but you may need to put in some extra time to collect the right data for your chart.
Besides quantitative data tools that measure traffic, revenue, and other user data, you might need some qualitative data.
These are some other ways you can gather data for your data visualization:
 Interviews
 Quizzes and surveys
 Customer reviews
 Reviewing customer documents and records
 Community boards
Fill out the form to get your templates.
4. select the right type of graph or chart..
Choosing the wrong visual aid or defaulting to the most common type of data visualization could confuse your viewer or lead to mistaken data interpretation.
But a chart is only useful to you and your business if it communicates your point clearly and effectively.
Ask yourself the questions below to help find the right chart or graph type.
Download the Excel templates mentioned in the video here.
5 Questions to Ask When Deciding Which Type of Chart to Use
1. do you want to compare values.
Charts and graphs are perfect for comparing one or many value sets, and they can easily show the low and high values in the data sets. To create a comparison chart, use these types of graphs:
 Scatter plot
2. Do you want to show the composition of something?
Use this type of chart to show how individual parts make up the whole of something, like the device type used for mobile visitors to your website or total sales broken down by sales rep.
To show composition, use these charts:
 Stacked bar
3. Do you want to understand the distribution of your data?
Distribution charts help you to understand outliers, the normal tendency, and the range of information in your values.
Use these charts to show distribution:
4. Are you interested in analyzing trends in your data set?
If you want more information about how a data set performed during a specific time, there are specific chart types that do extremely well.
You should choose one of the following:
 Dualaxis line
5. Do you want to better understand the relationship between value sets?
Relationship charts can show how one variable relates to one or many different variables. You could use this to show how something positively affects, has no effect, or negatively affects another variable.
When trying to establish the relationship between things, use these charts:
Featured Resource: The Marketer's Guide to Data Visualization
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Graphical Representation Graphical Representation is a way of analysing numerical data. It exhibits the relation between data, ideas, information and concepts in a diagram. It is easy to understand and it is one of the most important learning strategies. It always depends on the type of information in a particular domain.
Graphical Representation of Data Graphical representation of data is an attractive method of showcasing numerical data that help in analyzing and representing quantitative data visually. A graph is a kind of a chart where data are plotted as variables across the coordinate. It became easy to analyze the extent of change of one variable based on the change of other variables. Graphical ...
In this chapter, you will study numerical and graphical ways to describe and display your data. This area of statistics is called "Descriptive Statistics." You will learn how to calculate, and even more importantly, how to interpret these measurements and graphs.
Histogram A histogram is a graphical representation of quantitative data, similar to a bar graph. The horizontal axis is a number line and the bars are touching.
Create a frequency table, bar graph, pareto chart, pictogram, or a pie chart to represent a data set. Identify features of ineffective representations of data. Create a histogram, pie chart, or frequency polygon that represents numerical data. Create a graph that compares two quantities. In this lesson we will present some of the most common ...
2.1: Types of Data Representation. Page ID. Two common types of graphic displays are bar charts and histograms. Both bar charts and histograms use vertical or horizontal bars to represent the number of data points in each category or interval. The main difference graphically is that in a bar chart there are spaces between the bars and in a ...
Data are the information that you collect to learn, draw conclusions, and test hypotheses. Learn about the different types and how to graph them.
We will review the 7 basic graphs used in statistics used for the general representation of data: circle, bar graph, dot plot, stem and leaf display, histogram, frequency, relative frequency ...
In this chapter, you will study numerical and graphical ways to describe and display your data. This area of statistics is called "Descriptive Statistics." You will learn how to calculate, …
Quantitative, or numerical, data can also be summarized into frequency tables. A histogram is a graphical representation of quantitative data. The horizontal axis is a number line. in the histogram, …
Data Visualization is a graphic representation of data that aims to communicate numerous heavy data in an efficient way that is easier to grasp and understand. In a way, data visualization is the mapping between the original data and graphic elements that determine how the attributes of these elements vary. The visualization is usually made by ...
What is data visualization? Data visualization is the graphical representation of information and data. By using v isual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data.
Data and information visualization ( data viz/vis or info viz/vis) [ 2] is the practice of designing and creating easytocommunicate and easytounderstand graphic or visual representations of a large amount [ 3] of complex quantitative and qualitative data and information with the help of static, dynamic or interactive visual items.
Visual representations of scientific data have been used for centuries  in the 1500s, for example, Copernicus drew schematic sketches of planetary orbits around the sun  but the visual presentation of numerical data in the form of graphs is a more recent development.
A chart (sometimes known as a graph) is a graphical representation for data visualization, in which "the data is represented by symbols, such as bars in a bar chart, lines in a line chart, or slices in a pie chart ". [ 1 ] A chart can represent tabular numeric data, functions or some kinds of quality structure and provides different info.
Introduction What are graphs? What are the different types of data? What are the different types of graphical representations? The graph is nothing but an organized representation of data. It helps us to understand the data. Data are the numerical information collected through observation.
Graphical Representation of Data: Graphical Representation of Data," where numbers and facts become lively pictures and colorful diagrams. Instead of staring at boring lists of numbers, we use fun charts, cool graphs, and interesting visuals to understand information better. In this exciting concept of data visualization, we'll learn about different kinds of graphs, charts, and pictures ...
Graphic representation is another way of analysing numerical data. A graph is a sort of chart through which statistical data are represented in the form of lines or curves drawn across the coordinated points plotted on its surface. Graphs enable us in studying the cause and effect relationship between two variables.
What Is Data Visualization? Data visualization is the process of creating graphical representations of information. This process helps the presenter communicate data in a way that's easy for the viewer to interpret and draw conclusions.
Learn the basics of variables, the most important weapon of data science, and how to visualize them with graphs. Explore the two types of variables and their applications.
Algebra 1B: Lesson 11  Numeric and Graphic Representations of Data Matt Schulz 32 subscribers 17 782 views 3 years ago Algebra 1B Unit 1: Solving Equations ...more
What is Graphical Representation? A graphical representation is a visual display of data and statistical results. It is more effective than presenting the data in tabular form. Graphical representation is another way of analysing numerical data. A graph is a chart through which data are represented in the form of lines or curves drawn across the coordinated points plotted on the surface.
Discover 17 types of graphs and charts that can enhance your data visualization, with a helpful guide on when to use them.