There are many different ways to represent statistical data. However, a timeless method that’s highly effective is a bar graph template to display and compare data. There are different bar graphs, and you need to know which types suit which uses. This article delves into everything you need to know about bar graphs and helps you utilize this effective visual tool.
What is a Bar Graph?
A bar graph is a visual chart with rectangular bars of varying height and on two axes(x and y) that display data. William Playfair popularized the bar graph as a visual tool to represent discrete data independent of one another.
Note: For a bar graph to be complete, you need a title and a key that describes what the bar graph’s main elements are. Also, a scale range is equally essential.
Typically In a bar graph, the X-axis is where you plot the variable, and the y axis is where you plot the count for the variable. The longer the bar, the larger the data is. However, this is not always the case. There are other types of bar graphs that employ different preparation methods.
Bar Graph Templates & Examples
Types of Bar Graph Templates
Bar graphs are easy to create using templates. The different types of templates you need to know before choosing which to use are:
- Technical analysis
- Financial data
- And product sale bar graphs
The templates are generally horizontal, vertical (the most common), and stacked bar graphs. Horizontal bar graphs have the bars aligned horizontally, while vertical bar graphs have their values vertically aligned. Stacked bar graphs are vertical or horizontal bar graphs that contain more than one variable in a single bar. Usually, the variables are distinguishable by different colors.
Why Use a Bar Graph
A bar graph has many benefits matters displaying data. Some significant merits of using bar graphs are:
- Easy to create. You can create a bar graph in minutes using a template or Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. However, you may spend longer tweaking the colors and font styles depending on the customization you want.
- Versatile. You can use bar graphs in any workplace or education setting. Any sector that has data will find a bar graph useful.
- Easy data representation. A simple bar graph can include all the variables and values you want. Bar graphs present methods of displaying data and reading it without any fuss. Use labels for easier reading of the chart.
- Data comparison. Using a bar graph, you can compare the values of your variables and establish trends. Graphs are extremely important when using technical analysis to determine support, resistance, and breakout ranges in various stock prediction models.
Tips for Preparing a Bar Graph Template
A bar graph is easy to create. The following tips will ensure you create an evocative data display tool using bar graphs:
- Use different colors and fonts, especially when you have grouped data. Use contrasting colors such as red, blue, and green to make the graph appealing. You can use different but legible fonts for the tags of different variables.
- Double-check your data. Bar graphs are only as good as the data. Do not input incorrect data.
- Use scales sometimes. If you have large values like the value of a company or a population, do not cramp up the bar graph with numbers. Use a scale to make the bars sizeable and visually appealing.
- Use online templates. Templates are predesigned; therefore, you will have an easier time during data input. Ensure you download the template that meets your data representation needs.
Which Bar Graph Template To Use?
As previously stated, there are different types of bar graphs. Each bar graph has its utility. Before choosing a template, you need to consider the data you have and how you want to display it.
If you are presenting data to rank it, the bar graph you use will be different from a bar graph representing demographic data. Remember, for the bar graph template you choose, the length of the bar should be proportionate to the value of the variable.
You can use a horizontal bar graph to represent data with a single categorizing metric or if the categories have long names. For example, you want to plot the value of the top twenty companies in the New York stock exchange, you would put the numerical value in increasing order on the x-axis. You would then compare each value and write the company’s name on the y axis, then draw the bar horizontally.
Tip: Using horizontal bar graphs, start from the least to the largest. The practice is to ensure better visibility and reading of the graph.
Use vertical bar graphs to display data. The only difference with horizontal bar graphs is that the bars go vertically up in vertical charts, the count is on the y axis, and the variables are on the x-axis.
In a stacked bar graph, you stack the bars on top of each other in a single column. Stacked bar graphs represent grouped data that contains other subgroups. You can still stack them side by side.
Bar graphs are effective visual tools for representing data and establishing trends. Before plotting a bar graph, consider the kind of data you have. Now that you have essential tips on preparing a bar graph, download a template and represent your data.