*Interpreting
the results of the Graph - Histogram function *

Now that you have created your histogram, it is time to interpret what it is telling you. When you created your histogram, a "chart" (your graph) was created, in addition to the data used to make the chart. These two pieces work together; if you change your data, the chart will also change.

You are provided with three options for creating a histogram - a pie chart, a bar chart, an area chart, or a 'Traditional Histogram'.

**Pie
Chart.** A pie chart is relatively easy to interpret. The entire
pie represents all possible values (except *missing values*)
contained in the variable that you selected for the histogram
analysis. Each slice of the pie represents the percentage of the total
that each
category contained in your data. In the "Legend" located
on the right side of the pie chart, you will see what each slice of
the pie represents. The only "problem" with pie charts is
that they do not tell you how many people there were in
each category (although you can show this in the Chart Options in Excel).
(Glossary)

Bar
Chart. A bar chart is also relatively easy to interpret. The
bottom of the chart (called the *X Axis*) contains the categories
or all possible values (except *missing values*) in the variable
you selected for histogram analysis. The left side of the chart (called
the *Y Axis*) contains the *frequency* of occurance -
a simple count of how many times the specified value occurred. If your
data sheet contains individual student data, the Y Axis will tell you
how many students there were in each category. (Glossary)

**Area
Chart.** An area chart is really nothing more than a fancy bar
chart - it is interpreted precisely the same way.

**Traditional
Histogram.** This type of graph can be interesting, and somewhat
more complicated to interpret, because you can include more than one
variable on the histogram. At its core, this type of graph is called
'traditional' because of the smooth line that connects the values along
the X axis. You will see the various values of your chosen variable
along the bottom (X axis), and the frequency count along the left side
(Y axis).

To make
your charts look prettier, please see the help topic associated with *Modifying
your graphs.*