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Choosing the Right Graphs

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Choosing the Right Graphs

1. 1. By Joray “Rabbitz” Joseph
2. 2. Excel Graph Types There are many graphs or charts available in spreadsheet programs such as Excel and each has it own uses. The links below lead to information about the different Excel graphs and their uses.
3. 3. Bar Graphs Bar graphs are one of the most common types of graph used to display data. Sometimes known as "column charts", bar graphs are most often used to show amounts or the number of times a value occurs. The amounts are displayed using a vertical bar or rectangle. The taller the bar, the greater number of times the value occurs. Bar graphs make it easy to see the differences in the data being compared.
4. 4. Line Graphs Line graphs are often used to plot changes in data over time, such as monthly temperature changes or daily changes in stock market prices. They can also be used to plot data recorded from scientific experiments, such as how a chemical reacts to changing temperature or atmospheric pressure. Similar to most other graphs, line graphs have a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. If you are plotting changes in data over time, time is plotted along the horizontal or x-axis and your other data, such as rainfall amounts is plotted as individual points along the vertical or y-axis.
5. 5. Scatter Plot Graphs Scatter plot graphs are used to show trends in data. They are especially useful when you have a large number of data points. Like line graphs, they can be used to plot data recorded from scientific experiments, such as how a chemical reacts to changing temperature or atmospheric pressure.
6. 6. Excel Pie Charts Pie charts, or circle graphs as they are sometimes known, are a little different from the other three types of graphs discussed. For one, pie charts do not use horizontal and vertical axes to plot points like the others. They also differ in that they are used to chart only one variable at a time. As a result, it can only be used to show percentages. The circle of pie charts represents 100%. The circle is subdivided into slices representing data values. The size of each slice shows what part of the 100% it represents.