Line charts vs Bar charts

Line charts vs Bar charts

Sometimes we're asked "can I switch between line chart and a bar chart"?  No, you can't.  

The reason is that they show different things.  From a data visualization standpoint, there is a right and wrong answer to which chart should be used and when.  Column and Bar charts (like a price distribution) *must* be bound at zero because they show relative total size.  Line charts (like median price) don't have to be bound at zero.  Typically, you can use line charts for both basic counts and more complex calculations; but would only use column charts for counts.  Also, line charts are meant to show trends over time, while bar charts are for comparing data across categories.

The exception we make to the zero-bound rule is when it's important to show separation of data, and forcing zero-bounds on column charts hides the variance.  The 'Percent of List Price Received" metric is the perfect example of this.  Since that metric generally only changes by a couple of percentage points at most, we let it be bound by a number greater than zero.

Besides, we'd rather give you the right answers than force you into "choose your own adventure" stats.
    • Related Articles

    • Understanding gaps in line charts

      Learn why there are sometimes gaps or breaks in time series line charts. ​
    • How to zoom in on a chart

      Much like you zoom in on a map, there are times when you may want to zoom in on a chart.  Maybe you're viewing a chart with a long time history, but you only want to view or share a shorter period of time.  Maybe you're looking at a price ...
    • How to change the Chart Series

      Learn how to change the series breakout of a chart in Market Insights.
    • Choosing Median vs Average for metrics

      Some stats programs give the user the choice between using Median or Average aggregations for metrics.  Domus typically does not offer that choice, and the reason is simple.  The decision to choose between Median and Average for any aggregation is ...
    • Multiple area or geography analysis

      If you have a client who isn't sure where they want to live, or if you as the agent are new to an area and are trying to learn more, Market Insights can help.  The default setting on the charts is "No Breakout", but whether you're viewing a Time ...