Before You Watch

Visual displays should effectively and succinctly communicate key information.

Visual displays in Statistics are referred to as graphs, and the type of graph, or visual display, we use is determined by … yes … the variable type upon which we have data to display.  

Whether reading or drawing a graph for a single variable, there are 3 labels that are very important.

  • The title – provides details of what the graph is about e.g.  “Distribution of the ages of women in the Hunter region diagnosed with coeliac disease in June 2016”
  • The vertical axis (y) – this is often a count (frequency)  e.g. “Number of women”
  • The horizontal axis (x) – the variable of interest  e.g. “Age”

Graphs of single variables often demonstrate the relative frequency of the varying values that a variable can assume.  This is often referred to as the distribution of the variable.