Why Are Graphs Useful?

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Graphs provide a means of displaying statistical information in a meaningful way. They allow for concise viewing of statistical data, especially when that data involves data sets numbering in the hundreds or more.

Some studies involve fairly small sample sizes, making it is easy to display data sets written out in a table. Other studies, however, involve large data sets that are cumbersome or even impossible to publish in their entirety. In these cases, graphs provide a way to report data in a concise and meaningful way. Even for small sample sizes, graphs are an excellent means of visualizing data and statistics.

Different types of graphs are useful for different types of research. Bar graphs are good for qualitative data, data that involves frequencies of non-numerical traits and attributes. One bar is one trait ,and bar arrangement is by frequency, either ascending or descending. Bar graphs provide fast, simple overview of data display results at a glance.

Histograms resemble bar graphs but apply to quantitative rather than qualitative data. Quantitative data involves numerical data points and values. Histograms represent classes and ranges of values. As such, histograms do not exhibit the ascending or descending display of a bar graph; the bars of a histogram remain in the order of the classes. They still, however, provide the same simple, visual collation of data.