Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Data Presentation: Bar Graphs

Bar graphs are good for showing how data change over time.

Example:

Bar Graphs or Bar Charts


Advantages

  • show each data category in a frequency distribution

  • display relative numbers or proportions of multiple categories

  • summarize a large data set in visual form

  • clarify trends better than do tables

  • estimate key values at a glance

  • permit a visual check of the accuracy and reasonableness of calculations

  • be easily understood due to widespread use in business and the media

Disadvantages

  • require additional explanation

  • be easily manipulated to yield false impressions

  • fail to reveal key assumptions, causes, effects, or patterns