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Types of Graph And when to use them!

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Line Graph

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**Line Graph Used to show trends**

Variable plotted on X (bottom) musts be continuous Common type is “time series” where X = time CANNOT be used to graph data where X is discrete

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Scatterplot

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**Scatterplot Used to show relationships between variables**

X variable must be continuous If one variable is believed to cause or explain changes in the other, that variable is plotted on the X

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Bar Graph

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Bar Graph Used to compare amounts or frequencies in data that represents different categories (discrete data sets) Categorical data set is plotted on X, quantitative (continuous) on the Y Often used incorrectly to graph data with continuous X variables

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Histogram

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**Histogram Used when discrete X is converted to categories (“bins”)**

Y represents frequency of data within each “bin”

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Pie Chart

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**Pie Chart Used for same kind of data as bar chart**

Each slice = data category Slice size shows relative proportion of observations within each category

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**Summary: Types of Graph**

Graph type Use Line graph Connects dots with lines Used for continuous X data Show patterns or trends If time = X, time-series graph Scatterplot Display/assess relationship between variables Bar graph Used to show patterns Should only be used when X data are categorical

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Graph type Description Histogram Similar to bar graph, but used when continuous X data are converted to categories Pie chart Compares small number of categories. Works best if values are very different. If similar, should label pie segments with actual values

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