Bar Chart Definition

12 May Bar Chart Definition

data visualization

We have used the fourth approach in the example on life expectancy because the columns are ordered by time anyway and the value for a particular year is of less interest. Rather, it is interesting for the viewer to know the year in which the conditions have reversed, and we have used an annotation for this. The bar of sausage is the tallest bar in the given graph, which is reaching the line that says 25. Use the given graph to find out the topping most liked by the students. The height or length of each bar relates directly to its value.


A dot plot or dot chart consists of data points plotted on a graph. The Federal Reserve uses dot plots to show its predicted interest rate outlook. They’re used to present data, or a concept involving data, in a visual way. This can make it easier for people to quickly understand the meaning of the data. In addition, presenting data graphically rather than through text or the spoken word can be an efficient and faster way to communicate.

An industry example of X-bar/R charts

Whereas, since dependent variables are measured numerical values, they have a defined scale on an axis. A final advantage of bar charts is that, with the advent of the critical path method and the evolution of powerful computers, bar charts did not perish or lose importance. Instead, they evolved into a different supporting role that made them more valuable and popular. On a Bar chart, the bar may not indicate continuous work from the start of the activity until its end. For example, the activity Getting a Building Permit may be represented by a 2-month-long bar.

While all of the examples show bar charts with counts, these graphs can also show other statistics, such as percentages. For bar charts that depict summary statistics, the line chart is the closest relative. Like the relationship from the bar chart to a histogram, a line chart’s primary variable is typically continuous and numeric, emphasized by the continuous line between points. Shading the region between the line and a zero baseline generates an area chart, which can be thought of as a combination of the bar chart and line chart.

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Using Primavera Manager software , we can show activities with interruptions as continuous bars or as ‘‘necked’’ bars (Figure 2.3). You can also add icons, shapes, images and other graphic elements. Customize colors and fonts, or add a background to make your graph look even better.

What are bar graphs used for?

The X-bar/R charts will provide the following benefits and keep you from tampering. Or, you can use the same data to create an interactive bar chart with smooth transitions and interaction. Step one is making sure you have data formatted the correct way for a bar graph. Bar graphs display data in a way that is similar to line graphs.

  • Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.
  • Each bar has a vertical line that shows the highest and lowest price reached during the period.
  • For common cause variation, the action is to work on improving the process by reducing the variation or moving the process average.
  • Investopedia does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice.
  • Add bar chart to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

This enables easy comparison of total sales by quarter, and still allows relative comparisons of how much each product contributes to these total sales. This stacked bar graph, therefore, becomes an example of a visual representation of data where the subcategories can be seen making up the whole. A vertical bar chart is simple and easy to understand—the taller the bar, the larger the category. A bar graph can be of great use when you have to explain the meaning of complex data.

Bar charts in such a situation are used to show categorical data with rectangular bars either vertically or horizontally, with their lengths representing their values. Bar charts can be extended when we introduce a second categorical variable to divide each of the groups in the original categorical variable. If the bar values depict group frequencies, the second categorical variable can divide each bar’s count into subgroups. Applied to the original bars, this results in a stacked bar chart, seen on the left in the figure below. Alternatively, if we move the different subgroups’ bars to the baseline, the resulting chart type is the grouped bar chart, seen on the right.

When you should use a bar chart

The y-axis, when the bins are evenly spaced, measures the frequency of the given values. Histograms can be used to produce models of probability and to estimate the likelihood of certain outcomes. Bar graphs take different forms depending on the type and complexity of the data they represent. They can be as simple, in some cases, as two bars, such as a graph representing the vote totals of two competing political candidates. As the information becomes more complex, so will the graph, which may even take the form of a grouped or clustered bar graph or a stacked bar graph. Grouped bar graphs, also called clustered bar graphs, represent discrete values for more than one item in the same category.


A Complete Guide to Violin Plots Violin plots are used to compare the distribution of data between groups. Learn how violin plots are constructed and how to use them in this article. The bar chart shows that every race and ethnicity had a lower birth rate in 2020 than in 2019. Through the sliding glass door of the modest ranch house, the city unfurled to the horizon, interrupted only by the Hollywood Hills and the abrupt metallic bar chart of downtown. The occasion of Lunar Year inspired a bar chart of East Asian roots.

A histogram is a type of bar graph where the bars have no gaps between them. Unlike the bar graph, the price bar chart only covers relevant prices and does not extend all the way up from the x-axis. The vertical axis on the left or right side of the bar graph is called the y-axis. The horizontal axis at the bottom of a bar graph is called the x-axis. The purpose of a bar graph is to convey relational information quickly in a visual manner. The bars display the value for a particular category of data.


They are designed to distinguish between common and special cause variation over time. This enables you to properly react to any changes in your process average or variation. One disadvantage of vertical bar graphs is that they don’t leave much room at the bottom of the chart if long labels are required.

Let’s take a look at 3 – one each of vertical and horizontal multi-series chart. We will also look at an example of switching main categories and sub-categories and why we may need to do that. In Figure 3.5 we can compare the quarterly sales numbers of three car segments by grouping four sub-categories for each main category. 1-You show a subset of the work activities to maintain the simplicity of the chart. Equivolume charts meld price and volume information into every data point and visually depict it as rectangular bars for the period in question.

This is common in the case of reporting the profits and loss values on a chart. On a bar chart, the negative bar values are usually drawn to the left side of the chart while on a column chart, the negative bar values are drawn facing downwards on the chart. As noted previously in the bar and column comparison, it is easier to read and more intuitive to chart with a column chart when dealing with negative values. For instance, bar charts are better for representing data with long labels as opposed to column charts. This is because, on a bar chart, there is enough space for each bar to be labelled appropriately on the category axis as opposed to looking jam-packed on a column chart. A clustered bar chart is similar to a simple bar chart the difference is that this bar chart represents more than one series of data for a given category.

The MBB convinced the plant manager to start using X-bar/R charts to monitor the process. They chose to sample the process 5 times an hour for one week. He also got assurance the operators could record the true values without any repercussions from their supervisor.

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The two chart types show the same information but in different ways. Traders and investors decide which period they want to analyze. A 1-minute bar chart, which shows a new price bar each minute, would be useful for a day trader but not an investor. A weekly bar chart, which shows a new bar for each week of price movement, may be appropriate for a long-term investor, but not so much for a day trader.

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Posted: Tue, 28 Feb 2023 11:52:42 GMT [source] do not have gaps between bars, while bar charts do. However, with many software tools, you can revise a bar chart so that it does not have gaps between the bars, which leads to the second key difference between histograms and bar charts. The primary variable of a bar chart is its categorical variable. A categorical variable takes discrete values, which can be thought of as labels. Examples include state or country, industry type, website access method , and visitor type . Some categorical variables have ordered values, like dividing objects by size .

The seasons on the x-axis represent the categorical data and the number of students on the y-axis represents the numerical possible values. And the blue bars represent the number of students pertaining to each category or season. One axis is used to represent the numerical values whereas the other represents the categorical data against which the numerical data is plotted. You may wish to consult a statistician or the many books and websites available to determine which type of bar chart works best for your data.