Using Box Plots Differently


For those of us into performance consulting, Box plot (Know more about them here), is a wonderfully simple and efficient tool to help us get about our job. As every coin has two faces, every data-set has two aspects. One, is the "feel-good" part of it, the part which tells us about the successes and the top performers. Second, is the "ouch" bit of it, that gets us notice the outliers.


Usually, the Box-and-Whisker diagram is used to plot and separate data as the smallest and largest values, the median, and the lower and the upper quartiles. But, the shape and the style of it can be applied to depict other sets of data as well. Here, I've used the B&W template to depict the monthly temperatures of my home city - Calcutta.


The necessary data was gathered from here and there. It included the data for record monthly highs and lows, which were depicted in the chart by the whiskers, and the average monthly range of normal temperature, which is represented by the box, and the average monthly temperature by the line. The maximum and the minimum temperature, of the months of a specific year, taken here as 2010, is represented as a range by the violet-column to show its position vis-a-vis the Box and whisker graph. 


The final look:

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