A bar chart is one of the most common chart types used to explore and understand data. When information is presented in a bar chart, it is easy to comprehend numbers and statistics, saving your time and avoiding misinterpretation.
But what is a bar chart? When should you use a bar chart? What are the common misuses of the bar chart?
What is a Bar Chart?
Commonly known as a bar graph, a bar chart is a tool used to present any kind of data with rectangular bars. Although they are usually vertical, the bars can also be horizontal.
A bar chart, also called a column graph or bar graph, is one of the most common forms of data visualization. It consists of two sets: bars and their corresponding labels. A typical example would be to show how many apples you have in your fridge versus oranges (the label).
When to Use a Bar Chart?
This is a common question among students and even professionals. Now, here are some instances in which you can use a bar chart:
Show a distribution of various data points. A bar chart makes this process seamless and quick. Also, the reader won’t have a hard time understanding the details.
Compare metric values across subgroups of data. A bar chart is one of the perfect tools to perform a comparison between different information. Using a bar chart allows you to see the most common or the highest groups.
Show changes in data over time. Whether you are conducting a study on a certain topic that requires you to compare its past and present, a bar graph will be an excellent choice you can ever have.
Some of the Common Misuses
It is enticing to replace bars with pictures. But the bars themselves are more than enough. Specifically, it makes any presentation clear, accurate, and catchy. Just use pictures when the need arises.
Types of Bar Charts
Bar graphs also come with different types. These include a vertical bar graph, a horizontal bar graph, and a stacked bar graph.
- A vertical bar graph is utilized when presenting a series of data.
- A horizontal bar graph is used to convert vertical data.
- A stacked bar graph is employed to convey a variety of information.