Line Chart

A line chart is represented by a series of data point connected by a line on an x,y plane. They are most often utilized to show data over time. In this case it can also be called a run chart. The series of data points in line charts can be referred to as markers. These markers are connected by straight line segments.

Purpose of a Line Chart

The main purpose of the line chart is to show how a variable reacts (y-axis) to another ordered variable (x-axis). Since the x-axis is often over time, it will usually be separated by some time interval.

Finding out how a variable is changing over time can be helpful for many different reasons. For example, the line chart depicted below is showing a change of revenue over time. Knowing that the revenue is increasing over time, it is then possible to make other line charts over time to see which variables are most likely to be causing the increase in revenue.

Line Chart

Another piece of information that can be gleaned is that from April to March, revenue decreases. Again, after looking into what happened over that span of time (possibly using other line charts) it is conceivable to find out the reason that revenue dropped over that month. Once knowing why, adjustments can be made to make sure that revenue increase can be as efficient as possible.

How to Make A Line Chart

While the most common purpose of line charts is to show how data is changing over time, they can be used in many other ways as well. As they can be used in many ways, there are also many different ways to create a line chart, one of which is through Chartio. There is a tutorial on how to do this here.

Steven McKim

About Steven McKim

Steven is a Senior at Virginia Tech studying Computer Science. Currently interning for Chartio, he helps with the Data School site as well as Chartio.com to keep them running smoothly and make them as user friendly and visually appealing as possible.

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