What Type of Graph Best Compares Intervals of Data?


Scott Campbell

When it comes to comparing intervals of data, there are various types of graphs that can be used. The choice of the graph depends on the nature of the data and the purpose of the comparison. In this article, we will explore some commonly used graph types and discuss their suitability for comparing intervals of data.

Bar Graphs

Bar graphs are a popular choice for comparing intervals of data. They consist of rectangular bars where the length or height of each bar represents the value or range being compared. Bar graphs are particularly effective when comparing discrete or categorical data, such as sales figures for different products or populations across different regions.


  • Product A: 100 units
  • Product B: 150 units
  • Product C: 75 units


Histograms are similar to bar graphs but are specifically designed to represent continuous data. They group the data into intervals or bins and display the frequency or count within each interval with vertical bars. Histograms are useful when analyzing large datasets and visualizing distributions.

Line Graphs

If you want to compare intervals of time-based data, line graphs can be a great choice. They plot points connected by lines, allowing you to observe trends and changes over time. Line graphs are commonly used in tracking stock prices, weather patterns, or any other data that varies over time.


A line graph is not suitable for comparing categorical or non-continuous data. In such cases, a bar graph would provide a clearer representation.

Pie Charts

Pie charts are a popular choice for comparing proportions or percentages. They divide a whole into slices, with each slice representing a different category or interval. Pie charts are useful for displaying data with a limited number of categories and can effectively show the relative distribution of each category.


Pie charts can become less effective when there are too many categories or when the differences between the intervals are small. In such cases, a bar graph may be more suitable.

Scatter Plots

Scatter plots are ideal for comparing two continuous variables and identifying relationships or patterns between them. Each point on the graph represents an individual observation, allowing you to visualize how one variable changes in relation to another.


When comparing intervals of data, it is important to choose the appropriate graph type based on the nature of the data and the purpose of the comparison. Bar graphs work well for discrete or categorical data, histograms are effective for continuous data, line graphs are suitable for time-based comparisons, pie charts are useful for proportions or percentages, and scatter plots help identify relationships between variables.

By selecting the right graph type and incorporating visually engaging elements like bold text, underlined text, lists, and subheaders, you can effectively communicate your findings and make your data analysis more impactful.

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