The Lesson

Bar charts can present the different types of data.
  • Bar charts can present qualitative data (which is described in words). The bar chart shown below shows the number of shapes:

    bar chart for qualitative data
  • Bar charts can present quantative data (which is described in numbers). Quantitive data can be discrete or continuous:
    • Discrete data can only take certain values The bar chart shown below shows the test scores (out of 10) of a class of students. The test scores can only be whole numbers, so they are discrete:

      bar chart for discrete quantitative data
    • Continuous data can take any value (within a range). The bar chart shown below shows the heights of a group of friends. Heights can take any value within a range, so they are continuous:

      bar chart for continuous quantitative data Note: There are no gaps between the bars because continous data has no gaps in it. Also note: A histogram is a type of bar chart for continuous data.

Lesson Slides

The slider below gives more information about bar charts and the types of data. Open the slider in a new tab

What Is a Bar Chart?

A bar chart (or bar graph) is a chart which uses bars to present data. The height of each bar shows how often (the frequency) each value appears in the data.

What Is Data?

Data is a set of facts (such as numbers, measurements or words) that have been collected or measured. Data can be reported, visualized and analyzed to help us learn and make decisions.