Describing Bar Charts and Column Charts (3)

Understanding how the axes affect the presentation of the data 

Observe the following charts:

column chart multiple comparison column chart multiple comparison

These two charts show EXACTLY the same information. However, it is easier to see the differences in the first chart because the Y axis starts at 30, not zero. Sometimes charts are formatted like this in order to make the differences more obvious.

However, you must be careful when describing a particular chart. If the Y axis does not start from zero differences can seem greater than they actually are. So you must look at the actual numbers when making comparisons.

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