Bar chart is a chart that presents discrete data with rectangular bars with the lengths or heights proportional to the values that they represent. It is also known as a bar graph or bar diagram and is one of the methods of a diagrammatic representation of data. Preparation of a bar chart is done by taking the help tabular form of data. For showing how data changes over time, bar charts are used. It summarizes a large data set in a visual form which helps us understand and interpret the data in an easy and better manner. In this article, we will try to understand in detail the bar charts and try to draw out a comparison between bar charts and line graphs.
How to Draw a Bar Chart?
The steps given below can be followed to draw a bar chart:
- Make a table: On the graph paper, draw the x-axis and the y-axis. On the top of the graph paper, write a short title that describes the purpose of the chart.
- Label the horizontal and the vertical axis: First label the horizontal axis (x-axis) in which we represent categories. For example, we label the name of toffees i.e. A, B, C on the x-axis. Next, label the vertical axis (y-axis). Observe the highest frequency and plot the points on the y-axis accordingly.
- Draw the columns: Finally, we start drawing rectangular bars of equal width but of different lengths. Extend the rectangular bars from their base values to their corresponding frequencies and if the values fall between the plotted frequencies, take an approximation point between the two.
- Interpret the data: After completing the third step, your bar chart will be ready. We can easily interpret it and find out the least and the most preferred choices.
You must have seen scores of cricket matches displayed on television using zig-zag graphs at times. Have you wondered about it? Those graphs we see are line graphs. We take the help of line graphs when a particular data under consideration varies over time. It is plotted using several points which are connected by straight lines. Line graphs are used to determine the trend of whether the quantity in the vertical axis is increasing or decreasing over a period of time. Line graphs give us a clear picture of an increasing or a decreasing trend and are widely used in real-life scenarios.
How to Draw a Line Graph?
The steps given below can be followed to draw a line graph:
- Make a table: On the graph paper, draw the x-axis and the y-axis. On the top of the graph paper, write a short title indicating the purpose of the chart.
- Label the horizontal and the vertical axis: The dependent variables of the data should be placed along the vertical (y) axis, while the independent variables of the data should be placed along the horizontal (x) axis. Generally, time is an independent variable and is placed along the vertical axis.
- Mark data: Data for both the dependent and the independent variables should be marked keeping in mind the units determined. Once you have marked the data, connect different points obtained using straight lines.
Bar Charts Vs Line Graphs
Bar charts are usually used for categorical values and discrete data. For example, you can use a bar chart to show sales by quarter of a company. On the other hand, a line graph is typically used for data varying over time, like time or temperature. For example, we can use a line graph to show profits of a company over the years.
If you want to learn more about bar charts and line graphs in detail and in an interesting and fun way, visit Cuemath.