- Statistics

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3.3 Creating Bar Charts

Bar charts are applicable to categorical variables, just as pie charts, but they can accommodate more categories than pie charts.

Example: A survey was done to find the number of workers employed by major foreign investors.

Great Britain Germany Japan Netherlands Ireland
6500 1450 1200 200 138

Construct a bar char representing this data.

This time we need to represent the data as a bar chart, with vertical bars, or columns, representing the number of workers employed by major foreign investors (in some unit of measurement):

Horizontal Bar Chart

Nice, but not great (I don't like that the bars go horizontally, it would be nicer if they went vertically instead), so we will want improve on this a little:

Bar Chart Design Ribbon

This should be the result of our reformatting effort so far:

Vertical Bar Chart

Try this: To excentuate Germany, say, change the color of Germany's vertial bar to, say, green (right click on the bar, etc.). Changing colors is but one trick to draw attention to one particular feature of your chart. In fact, you can use such techniques to highlight some data and downplay others without actually changing the data. We will explore this further in a homework assignment.