Organizing Data using Line Plots

Line graphs or plots are a very common way of organizing data. They are especially useful for organizing data over a period of time. They are very helpful in comparing multiple groups of data over the same time period. When smaller changes exist, line graphs are better to use than bar graphs.  
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If a data is represented by means of lines, by joining different points, then the representation is called line graph or plot.


The line graph below shows how Jim the Dog's weight varied from the beginning of 2001 to the beginning of 2004. We see that his weight was 22 lb in 2001, 26 lb in 2002, 24 lb in 2003, and 26 lb in 2004.

Line Graphs

From the line graph it is easy to see that Jim's weight is trending upwards. Looks like our dog needs more exercise, or we cut back on the dog biscuits.


Now let's look at a different type of data, that is not a function of time. Let us plot a line graph for the following data;

Names Arnold Kim Sam Jack Robin Jane Carole Jessie John
Scores 90 64 30 100 20 76 68 55 49

Line Graph:

       Line Graphs

From the line plot, Jack stood first in the class and Robin last. However, this type of data might be better represented in a bar graph. See organizing data in a bar graph.

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