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# What is a histogram useful for?

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Histograms are useful in pictorial representations of data distributions. The histogram is a type of bar graph, where bar height or length represents the frequency of occurrence of a continuous distribution of data classes.

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Histograms show basic information about the data set, such as the median data value, the width of spread and the overall distribution of the quality being displayed. Histograms can be used to assess the current state of a system, compare this state with historical data and make inferences about how the system is likely to evolve.

Histograms can be created directly from discrete data or from continuous data by first sorting this data into bins. Bins are regular intervals representing different ranges for the class of data being plotted. Dividing ages between 30 and 50 into sequential intervals of five years is an example of bins.

The individual values that satisfy the criteria of the bin are called scores. The scores of values for each bin are tallied. Values that fall right at the edge between two bins are consistently rounded up or down. Plotting bin values against the frequency of their occurrence in the form of bars gives the histogram. The bars of a histogram represent continuous data, so there should be no gaps between them.

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## Related Questions

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Pictograph charts show data using graphical representations. Each image on a pictograph chart stands for a certain number of items. For example, a pictograph chart showing the sale of apples may use one apple to mean 100 bushels of apples sold. Pictographs are limited by what they represent based on how small a single representation breaks down to show portions of an image.

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Graphs of various types provide convenient visual representations of scientific data that would otherwise be presented in intimidating blocks of text or a series of numbers. Graphs represent statistics such as changes over time, comparisons, or parts of a whole. Graphs can be used to make date more accessible to both scientists and laypersons.

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Several types of graphs are used for displaying information in mathematics including the bar graph; pie chart or circle graph; histogram; stem and leaf plot; dot plot; scatter plot; and time-series graphs. The type of graph chosen depends on whether the data is quantitative, qualitative or paired.