Describing variability

Link a question to analysis

Instructional and practice activities in this section are designed to help students

1.  Learn to recognize what kind of question is being asked

  • Questions about variability
  • Questions about comparing two or more groups
  • Questions about correlation between two numeric variables
  • Questions about a variable changing through time
  • Questions about how a whole is proportioned into parts

2.  Choose a graph type that is appropriate for the question asked

  • Frequency plots (dot plot, box and whisker plot, histogram) to show variability in data
  • Bar graph to compare two groups in a summary value (e.g. a mean, total, or percent)
  • Scatter plot to show correlation between two numeric factors
  • Line graph to show how a variable changes through time
  • Pie chart or stacked bar graph to show the proportions of parts of a whole



Maine Data Literacy Project

Units & Activities