Difference Between Excel Histogram and Bar Graph

Both the Histogram and the Bar Graph are graphical representations of data. But there are differences between them. If you are looking for the difference between them, then this article will be helpful for you. The focus of this article is to explain the difference between Excel Histogram and Bar Graph.


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What Is Excel Histogram?

A Histogram is a type of chart that evaluates frequency data. A histogram looks at data points and intervals and counts how many times data points fall between specific intervals. The Histogram chart helps to represent the distribution of numerical data by creating vertical bars.


How to Create Histogram in Excel

In this section, I will explain how you can create a Histogram in Excel. Here, I have taken the following dataset to create a Histogram. It contains the Scored Percentage of 20 students. I also have the Bin here. Now, I will create a Histogram to represent the number of students who have Scored Percentages between specific intervals.

Difference Between Excel Histogram and Bar Graph

Let’s see the steps.

Steps:

To begin with, I will set up the Analysis ToolPak.

  • Firstly, go to the File tab.

  • Secondly, select Options.

Selecting Excel Options to Create Histogram in Excel

After that, the Excel Options dialog box will appear.

  • Firstly, go to the Add-ins tab.
  • Secondly, select Analysis ToolPak.
  • Thirdly, select Go.

Now, a dialog box named Add-ins will appear.

  • Next, check Analysis ToolPak.
  • Then, select OK.

Adding Analysis ToolPak to Add Histogram in Excel

After that, the Analysis ToolPak will be added to your Excel.

  • Now, go to the Data tab.
  • Then, select Data Analysis.

Here, the Data Analysis dialog box will appear.

  • Firstly, select Histogram.
  • Secondly, select OK.

How to Create Histogram in Excel

Now, a dialog box named Histogram will appear.

  • Next, select the marked button to select the Input Range.

  • Firstly, select the cell range.
  • Secondly, click on the marked button to add the Input Range.

Selecting Data to Create a Histogram in Excel

Now, the Input Range will be added to your Histogram dialog box.

  • Next, select the marked button to select the Bin Range.

  • Firstly, select the cell range.
  • Secondly, click on the marked button to add the selected range to your Histogram.

Here, you will see the Bin Range is added to your Histogram dialog box.

  • Then, select Labels.
  • Next, select Output Range.
  • After that, click on the marked button to select the Output Range.

  • Firstly, select the cell from where you want your Output Range to start.
  • Secondly, click on the marked button to add the Output Range to your Histogram.

Now, you will see the Output Range is added to your Histogram.

  • After that, check the Chart Output option.
  • Then, select OK.

Finally, you will see that you have created a Histogram for your desired dataset.

At this point, I will show you how you can format the Histogram.

  • Firstly, select the Histogram.

What Is Excel Histogram?

  • Secondly, go to the Chart Design tab.
  • Thirdly, select your desired Style from the Chart Styles group. Here, I selected the marked style.

Now, you will see your chart has changed to your selected Chart Style.

Here, I will change the Layout of the Histogram.

  • Firstly, select the Histogram.
  • Secondly, go to the Chart Design tab.
  • Thirdly, select Quick Layout.

Now, a drop-down menu will appear.

  • After that, select the Layout you want for your Histogram. Here, I selected the marked layout.

In the following picture, you can see my final Histogram.

Read More: How to Make a Histogram in Excel Using Data Analysis ToolPak


Pros and Cons Histogram in Excel

There are both pros and cons of a Histogram. In this section, I will explain both pros and cons of Histogram in Excel.


Pros of Excel Histogram

Here are some pros of Excel Histogram:

  • You can represent a large set of data in a Histogram which will see crowded in other forms of graphs.
  • A Histogram shows the frequency of occurring an event in specific intervals.
  • It helps to predict something depending on the frequency.
  • You can also use it to calculate the capacity of a process.

Cons of Histogram in Excel

Some cons of Excel Histogram are given below:

  • In a Histogram, you will not be able to read the exact values because the data is grouped in intervals.
  • You can use Histograms only for continuous data.
  • It is hard to compare two sets of data using a Histogram.

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What Is Bar Graph in Excel?

A Bar Graph is used to compare values across different categories. Most often it is used to emphasize changes over time or for comparison of items or categories.


Creating a Bar Graph in Excel

In this section, I will explain how you can create a Bar Graph in Excel. Here, I will create a Bar Graph for the following dataset. It contains the Sales Overview for 3 different states. I will use a Bar Graph to represent these data clearly.

What Is Bar Graph in Excel?

Let’s see the steps.

Steps:

  • Firstly, select the data range for the Bar Graph.
  • Secondly, go to the Insert tab.
  • Thirdly, select Insert Column or Bar Chart.

Creating a Bar Graph in Excel

Here, a drop-down menu will appear.

  • After that, select the graph type you want. Here, I selected the Clustered Column.

Selecting Clustered Column to Create a Bar Graph in Excel

After that, you will see a Bar Graph has been inserted into your Excel sheet.

Now, I will format the graph.

  • Firstly, select the graph.
  • Secondly, go to the Chart Design tab.
  • Thirdly, select your desired Chart Style. Here, I selected the marked Chart Style.

Using Chart Design tab to Change the Chart Style for Bar Graph in Excel

Now, you can see that the Chart Style has changed to the selected style.

In the following picture, you can see my final Bar Graph.

Creating a Bar Graph in Excel

Read More: How to Make a Grouped Bar Chart in Excel (With Easy Steps)


Pros and Cons of Bar Graph

A Bar Graph in Excel have both pros and cons. In this part, I will explain the pros and cons of a Bar Graph in Excel.


Pros of Bar Graph in Excel

Here are some pros or advantages of a Bar Graph in Excel.

  • You can use both numerical and categorical data for Bar Graphs.
  • You can summarize a large set of data in a Bar Graph.
  • It will help you to see close numbers.
  • A Bar Graph helps you to evaluate values at a glance.

Cons of Bar Graph in Excel

Some cons of the Bar Graph are given below:

  • It only displays what is on the dataset.
  • You will need to add an explanation with the Bar Graph.
  • A Bar Graph can not display causes, effects, or patterns.

Difference Between Histogram and Bar Graph in Excel

In this section, I will explain the difference between Histogram and Bar Graph in Excel.

The first thing you need to know is when to use a Bar Graph and when to use a Histogram. Well, it all depends on the data analysis that is required. If you want to see a specific category/item in comparison to another set of categories/items, you will need to use a Bar Graph. If you are looking at the number of times data points fall within a certain range then use a Histogram.

The way the data is set up will also give a clue as to which options one should use, Histograms have the data points in one column and the bin ranges or intervals in the column next to the data points column. Bar Graphs will not have interval ranges in the source data.

For better visualization, I have taken the following dataset. It contains the Scored Percentage of 20 students. I will make both a Histogram and a Bar Graph for this dataset to show the difference.

Dataset to Show Difference Between Excel Histogram and Bar Chart

In the following picture, you can see that I have made a Histogram and a Bar Graph for this dataset. And you can see the difference easily. The Histogram shows how many students have scored a certain Percentage and the Bar Graph shows which student has scored what Percentage.

There are several key differences between Excel Histogram and Bar Graph. Histograms provide quantitative analysis and the data points are grouped into set intervals, while Bar Graphs are used to make comparisons across categories.

The below table shows the detailed difference between the Bar Graph and Histogram.

Histogram Bar Graph
1. Graphical evaluation of data which represents data with bars to show the frequency of the numerical data. 1. Represents data in bars for comparing different categories of data.
2. The variables are non-discrete in the distribution. 2. The variables are discrete.
3. The bars have no spaces between them. 3. The bars have spaces between them.
4. Presents quantitative data. 4. It presents numerical data.
5. Elements are considered as ranges. 5. Each and every element is taken as an individual unit.
6. The width of the bars doesn’t need to be the same. 6. The width of the bars needs to be the same.
7. It’s not possible to re-arrange the data once it is done. 7. Re-arrange of blocks is common.

Conclusion

In this article, I explained the difference between Excel Histogram and Bar Graph. I hope, this article was clear to you. For more articles like this stay connected with ExcelDemy. If you have any questions feel free to comment and let me know.


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Taryn N

Taryn N

Taryn is a Microsoft Certified Professional, who has used Office Applications such as Excel and Access extensively, in her interdisciplinary academic career and work experience. She has a background in biochemistry, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and biofuels. She enjoys showcasing the functionality of Excel in various disciplines. She has over ten years of experience using Excel and Access to create advanced integrated solutions.

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