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Graphical Data Analysis with R by Antony Unwin

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Chapter 4

Displaying Categorical Data

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

Thoreau

Summary

Chapter 4 looks at visualising single categorical variables, nominal, ordinal, or discrete.

4.1 Introduction

Compared to the range of plots proposed for visualising single continuous variable data, there have been few suggestions for visualising single categorical variable data. Barcharts (horizontally or vertically) and piecharts are the commonest options. You could argue that both are area plots where cases are represented by an area proportional to group size rather than being plotted individually. However, since the bars in a barchart always have the same width, you compare lengths, not areas, which is much easier.

Occasionally ...

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