How do I show how data points (values) are distributed from lowest to highest across an entire range of values?

When you need to impart how data is dispersed, scattered, concentrated or spread across a range you are communicating a distribution.

When you are thinking about how to display your data and the following terms or words keep coming up,

  • Range of data
  • Concentration of data
  • Frequency of data and of course a
  • Distribution of data (this may be a normal curve, or a bell curve

You will need a graph that will show a distribution.

For example, you may want to show the distribution of:

  • Surgical patients by ASA Classification
  • Diabetic patients by BMI
  • Vascular patients by age and gender
  • Patients by payer type.
  • Available hospital beds by type

Depending on how many variables you need to display you will use the following types of graphs:

  • Vertical bar graph
  • Horizontal bar graph
  • Line graph to show the overall shape of the distribution
  • Multiple strip plot (when you need to compare multiple distributions and you also need to show the value of each data point.)
  • Vertical box plot (multiple distributions)
  • Horizontal box plot (multiple distribtions)

Leave a Reply