What Type of Graph Do I Use?

Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used
• Types of pets and the number of students who own them • Students and the number of hours spent watching tv a week

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Bar Graph

Bar graphs are used to compare things between different groups or to track changes over time.

Visually strong

• Can easily compare two or three pieces of data

• Categories can be reordered causing graph to be misleading • Use only with distinct data

Circle Graph (a.k.a Pie Graph)

• Displaying Monthly Budget • Displaying Types of After School Activities • Displaying Types of Pizza toppings

A circle graph is best when you are trying to compare parts of a whole. They do not show change over time.

• Visually appealing • Shows percent of total for each category • Best with 3 to 7 categories

• Hard to compare various data sets since the exact amount of each ‘set’ is unknown • “Other” category too vague and causes a problem • Total pieces of data (or surveyed) is typically unknown unless specified • Use only with

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used Description Advantages Disadvantages

distinct data

Frequency Table

• Number of Homeruns in a season • Height of students in a class

A frequency table shows the number of pieces of data that fall within given intervals.

Visually strong

• Shows total number of data

• Intervals may be inaccurate or too large • Exact data unknown due to intervals

Histogram

• Test scores to Number of Students • Ages of shoppers to amount of money spent at a store

Histograms are similar to bar graphs . . .except, histograms do NOT have spaces (or gaps) between categories.

Visually strong

• Can compare to ‘normal bell’ curve • Usually the yaxis is a count of items falling into each category

• Cannot read exact values because data is grouped into categories • More difficult to compare two data sets • Use only with distinct data

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used
• Your grade throughout the nine weeks • Cost of a Playstation 3 since it was released • The number of laps you can do in the pacer test during PE

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Line Graph

A scatter plot with the ‘dots’ connected. Multiple pieces of data sets can be graphed on the same line graph, but then a key is needed.

• Can compare multiple continuous data sets easily • Trends of data are easily seen over time

• Use only with continuous data

Line Plot

• Test scores (could be differentiated between boys and girls) • Ages in a group

A line plot displays the data above a number line by placing marks for each piece of data over the corresponding value.

Visually strong

• Easily compare two sets of data

• May be misleading if ‘marks’ are not equal size

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used
• Number of books read in a week by grade level • Amount of Money earned by Students in a Class

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Pictograph

A pictograph uses pictures or symbols to represent the data. A key is required.

• Visually interesting • Used for distinct data

• Misleading when only fractional parts of pictures are used • Total number of data may be unknown

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used
• Time studying and Test Grade • Time driving and distance from home

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Scatter Plot Positive Correlation

A scatter plot displays data as points, typically over time.

• Shows a trend in the data relationship • Keeps the EXACT values and sample size • Shows minimum, maximum, & outliers

• Hard to visualize results in a large data set • Data on both axis should be continuous

Negative Correlation

• Amount of time watching tv and test grade • Amount of time you have driven and the number of gallons of gasoline in your car

No Correlation
• Your hair color and your test score • Your batting average and the number of pets you own

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used
• Quiz Scores

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Stem – n Leaf Plot

• Ages at the Movies

A stem – n – leaf plot displays quantitative data by arranging the data in order.

• Provide a quick overview of data • Easily identify outliers • Easily identify mode • Easily identify median • Keeps EXACT values of data

• Too much data makes stemn-leaf plots ‘cluttered’ and hard to read • Too little data does not allow you to see any ‘trend’ Only useful with certain data values (i.e. not a lot of decimal places, or unit places)

Box – and Whisker Plot

Quiz Scores

• Ages at the Movies

A box-andwhisker plot displays quantitative data by arranging it in order. However, individual pieces of data are not identified.

• Provide a quick overview of data • Easily identify outliers • Easily identifies range • Easily identify median

• Does not provide original data points • May give false impression of data (i.e. small sample size vs. large sample size) • Quartiles may be misinterpreted Hard to compare various data sets since the exact amount of each ‘set’ is unknown

What Type of Graph Do I Use? Type of Graph Example Example of When Graph Used Description Advantages Disadvantages

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