Watch the animation for creating a histogram and then consider the question below.

Why use this technique? Is it appropriate?

  • We use histograms to show the distribution of a set of data.
  • Histograms make it easier to see any patterns and trends. Because it is easy to see in which group most of the values are in a set of data.
  • When there is a large set of data e.g. 50 or 100 samples a histogram is an appropriate graphing technique to use as all the data can be summarized.

Evaluate the strengths and limitations of using a histogram.


Strengths of using a histogram:

  • Patterns and trends can be easily seen
  • Histograms are quite easy to understand.
  • It is easy to see any anomalies.
  • It is easy to compare data in two or more histograms
  • Histograms can summarize a large data set (a large sample) in one graph.

Weaknesses of using a histogram:

  • It is difficult or nearly impossible to see exact or specific numbers in a histogram as the totals are grouped into categories.
  • Histograms can only be used with continuous data.