Graphs and Charts

Graph and chart refer to a graphic that shows tabular data in a visual form. You can understand the numbers in charts more quickly and easily because a chart is a visual (not textual) presentation. When you make charts and graphs, you communicate information better.

You can also easily understand large quantities of data and see the relationships among different items. However, charts can be less precise than tables or listed information. Charts and graphs provide easy-to-read visuals, but they can’t always concretely portray the more minute specifics of data.

Tabular data is information that appears in a table of rows and columns. A chart can take many forms because certain types of charts show information better than other types. The three most important types of charts are line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts.

Line Graph

A line graph contains lines made up of connected data points. The graph often shows changes in a quantity or the value of something over time.

Bar Graph

A bar graph or bar chart uses bars (either horizontal or vertical) of various lengths to show values. Most bar graphs show information for only one item per bar.

A histogram is a special kind of bar chart. It uses bars to show groups or bands of data, such as the average height of students in various age groups or the percentage of various age groups in a city’s population, as bars.

Pie Chart

The pie chart or pie graph represents information as a circle divided into sectors or slices. The different-sized sectors show the relationship among the items of information. The pie chart is used when you want to show how parts of something add up to 100 percent of a whole thing.