Types of Charts Used in Data Analysis

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Types of Charts Used in Data Analysis

Graphical illustrations are visually appealing and bring life to a report so as to give the target audience refreshing breaks from the monotony caused by texts and tables. If the research report contains many descriptive tables, it can be made more readable and attractive if the most important tables are presented through graphs and diagrams. In the graphical presentation, facts and figures are gathered first and then they are depicted in the form of graphs and charts to present the statistical information.

Most Frequently Used Graphs and Charts

Bar Chart

A bar chart represents categorical data with the help of rectangular bars, plotted vertically or horizontally. The heights or lengths of rectangular bars are proportional to the values represented by them. The data can be in the form of absolute frequencies or relative frequencies.

Pie Chart

A pie chart is a circular statistical graphic, segregated into different segments to illustrate the numerical proportions/ relative frequency of a number of items. The arc length of each segment shows the proportionate quantity represented by it. Pie charts provide a quick overview of the data presented to the readers. All segments of the pie chart should be added up to 100%.


A histogram is an accurate representation of the probability distribution of a continuous data variable grouped into bins. They are very similar to bar charts used to show categorical data. The only difference between the two is that, the histogram bars are connected to each other (so long as there is no gap in the data) to represent continuous data, whereas the bars in a bar chart arenot connected as they represent different categorical entities.

Line Graph

A line graph or a line chart is generally used to visualize the value of a particular variable over time. They are useful to show the trend of numerical data over a period of time. Two or more distributions (each depicted by a separate line) can be shown in one graph as long as the difference between them is easily distinguishable. They also make it possible to compare the distributions of different groups for example, age distribution between males and females.

Box and Whisker Plot

This is a method of graphically representing different groups of numerical data through their quartiles. The box plots can also have vertical lines extending from the boxes (called whiskers) to indicate the variability outside the upper and lower quartiles.

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