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Commonly used graphs

There are a number of ways to graphically present data. Some common graphs are illustrated, with advice on how to read and interpret them and possible goals to set from them.

To understand a graph:

  • Read the title of the graph.
  • Read the labels and the range of numbers along the side (scale or vertical) axis, and the information on the bottom (horizontal) axis.
  • Determine what units the graph uses. This information can be found on the axis or in the legend.
  • Look for patterns, groups and differences.

Graphs illustrated in this section are:

Further reading