The bank can use a histogram to identify how long customers spend on the line and improve their services. A business can use a histogram to find out how salaries are distributed between low level, medium level, and high level of management. The government can use histograms to exhibit the trend in unemployment rates over time. Histograms enable employees across all departments to understand the data they generate. It ensures that even a low-level employee can notice a weakness in the business that the top-level experts have missed.

bar graphs

For example, the 1st bin range is 2.30 mins to 2.86 mins. We can note that the count is 3 for that category from the table, as seen in the below graph. The key difference between histograms and bar charts is the type of data that is being plotted.

A histogram can be used to make a comparison between two competing products. This helps identify the product lagging behind in the competition. A histogram can be used to identify areas of a business operation that require improvement in order to achieve business objectives. Histograms can be used to compare distributions between groups.

In bar graphs, the bars are separated from each other with equal spaces, while in Histograms, the bars are always touching each other. Create bars with class intervals on the x-axis and corresponding frequencies on the y-axis. Some theoreticians have attempted to determine an optimal number of bins, but these methods generally make strong assumptions about the shape of the distribution. There are, however, various useful guidelines and rules of thumb. The data shown is a random sample of 10,000 points from a normal distribution with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

Best practices for using a histogram

Histograms are not only useful in determining the minimum data point, maximum data point, and the median. But it is also used to find out the standard median of the data. The range of the chart from left to right, that is also called the class width of the chart, can be found out by using a histogram. The above-given table gives us the survey data taken by the bank of the customers of their respective waiting time.

histogram helps

The major difference is that a histogram is only used to plot the frequency of score occurrences in a continuous data set that has been divided into classes, called bins. Bar charts, on the other hand, can be used for a great deal of other types of variables including ordinal and nominal data sets. A histogram is used to summarize discrete or continuous data. In other words, it provides a visual interpretation of numerical data by showing the number of data points that fall within a specified range of values (called “bins”). However, a histogram, unlike a vertical bar graph, shows no gaps between the bars. A histogram is a type of graph that has wide applications in statistics.

Develop analytical superpowers by learning how to use programming and data analytics tools such as VBA, Python, Tableau, Power BI, Power Query, and more. The following data represent the number of employees at various restaurants in New York City. The following data are the number of books bought by 50 part-time college students at ABC College.

Conditioning on other variables#

When factors stratify the histograms can be used to observe the of the data thought to be causing variation the major causes of the difference become more detectable. When you decide to invest in the stock market, you can use a histogram to determine the price frequencies of already identified stocks. When customers visit a bank, for example, they spend a lot of time in the queue.

It can be used to confirm trends and provide trade signals. Histograms can also be used to determine the variability of data. This is done by calculating the standard deviation, which is a measure of how spread out the data is. The standard deviation is calculated by taking the square root of the average of the squared differences between each data point and the mean.

In this histogram, the lengths of all the bars are more or less the same. For example, Ma’am Lucy, the Principal of Little Lilly Playschool, wanted to record the heights of her students. The following histogram shows the number of students and their varying heights. The height of the students ranges between 30 inches to 50 inches.

To study change over time

When recording values of the same variable over an extended period of time, sometimes it is difficult to discern any trend or pattern. However, once the same data points are displayed graphically, some features jump out. Since there are no ages less than 41.5, this interval is used only to allow the graph to touch the x-axis. The point labeled 44 represents the next interval, or the first “real” interval from the table, and contains four scores. This reasoning is followed for each of the remaining intervals with the point 74 representing the interval from 71.5 to 76.5. Again, this interval contains no data and is only used so that the graph will touch the x-axis.


The shape of data distribution is a critical attribute that can control the way you’ll find the central tendency to reflect the center of data as accurately as possible. As we can see that both distributions (A & C) are notably different although both have the same mean value. Distribution A ranges from while distribution C ranges from . Thus, “mean” doesn’t provide the complete picture of our data and can be misleading. Histograms can be used to understand the distribution of your continuous data.

In the figures above, both histograms have a horizontal axis scale of 20 to 90. Most software would show the histogram without the outlier on a smaller scale. Figure 6 uses the same scale to show how outliers appear in a histogram, which is higher than the rest of the data values. You may also have outliers lower than the rest of the data values or outliers at both ends of your data. They can be used to check data for extreme values, or outliers, and to help understand the distribution of your data. The distribution of a variable is important to understand when selecting appropriate statistical analysis tools.

Histograms provide a visual interpretation of numerical data by indicating the number of data points that lie within a range of values. The frequency of the data that falls in each class is depicted by the use of a bar. The higher that the bar is, the greater the frequency of data values in that bin. A histogram is used for continuous data, where the bins represent ranges of data, while a bar chart is a plot of categorical variables.

Distribution appears to be quite straightforward, but when we plot the histogram, we’ll realize that it’s a multimodal distribution. In other words, histograms give information about the ‘mean’ of data. The length of each bar corresponds to its respective data mentioned on the axis (Y-axis for Vertical Graph, X-axis for Horizontal Graph).

Creation of a histogram can require slightly more work than other basic chart types due to the need to test different binning options to find the best option. However, this effort is often worth it, as a good histogram can be a very quick way of accurately conveying the general shape and distribution of a data variable. Choice of bin size has an inverse relationship with the number of bins. The larger the bin sizes, the fewer bins there will be to cover the whole range of data.

Walking the Workplace: Ways to Identify Waste and Opportunity

While histograms are most commonly used to analyze frequency distributions, they can also be used to analyze other types of distributions, such as the normal distribution. Restaurant managers might build a histogram to determine how many customers come into a restaurant at different times during the day. The number of patrons is on the vertical axis, while the time intervals are on the horizontal axis. The chart would find the frequency distribution for when restaurant patrons arrive (25 come in at 9 a.m.; 77 at noon, etc.).

The evolution of the human DNA replication timing program … –

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For all of these, a histogram is an appropriate graphical tool to explore the distribution of the data. Figure 13 shows data where the two groups are very different. If you look at the overall histogram, the data is not mound-shaped. The graph shows the data for one group highlighted with striped bars. This group is roughly mound-shaped, has a spread from about 5 to 15 and a center about 9.


A histogram can be used to restructure the company functions aligning them with the set objectives. A histogram presents considerable amounts of data in a simplified manner. Using a histogram, you can easily spot the results that do not accrue with your expected values. With this, you can quickly calculate the standard deviation of your data. This form of chart is not very suitable for comparing two types of data.

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