# Which Type of Data Is Best for a Line Plot?

//

Larry Thompson

Line plots are a great way to visually represent data, but not all types of data are suitable for this type of graph. In this article, we will explore the different types of data that work best for line plots and why they are well-suited for this type of visualization.

## Numerical Data

One of the most common types of data used in line plots is numerical data. This includes any data that can be represented by numbers, such as temperature readings, stock prices, or test scores. Numerical data is ideal for line plots because it allows us to track changes and trends over time.

Example:

Let’s say we want to track the average monthly temperature in a city over the course of a year. We can collect the temperature readings for each month and plot them on a line plot.

The x-axis represents the months, while the y-axis represents the temperature. By connecting the points with lines, we can easily visualize how the temperature changes from month to month.

## Categorical Data

While numerical data is commonly used in line plots, categorical data can also be effectively represented in this type of graph. Categorical data refers to non-numerical information that falls into distinct categories or groups. Examples include types of animals, different colors, or survey responses.

Example:

Suppose we conduct a survey asking people about their favorite ice cream flavors. We can collect their responses and create a line plot to display the popularity of each flavor over time. The x-axis represents different time periods (e.g., years or months), while the y-axis represents the frequency or percentage of responses for each flavor category.

## Time Series Data

Line plots are particularly useful for visualizing time series data, which involves observations made over a specific period at regular intervals. This type of data is commonly used in fields such as finance, weather forecasting, and social sciences.

Example:

Let’s say we want to analyze the sales data for a particular product over the past year. We can collect the monthly sales figures and plot them on a line plot.

The x-axis represents the months, while the y-axis represents the sales amount. By examining the line plot, we can identify any patterns or trends in sales over time.

## Summary

In summary, line plots are an effective way to visualize data that changes over time. Numerical data, categorical data, and time series data are all well-suited for this type of graph. Whether you’re tracking temperature fluctuations, survey results, or sales figures, line plots provide a clear and concise representation of how your data changes over time.

• Numerical data allows us to track changes and trends over time.
• Categorical data can be effectively represented in line plots by using different categories or groups.
• Time series data is commonly visualized using line plots to identify patterns or trends.

Next time you have data that evolves over time, consider using a line plot to make it visually engaging and easy to understand!