Box plot also known as Box and whisker plot and it is a way to represent a statistical data in the form of a box with the help of five numbers, which divide the graph into four sections. The sections are divided into quartiles and include First, second, third and fourth quartile. The five numbers are used to represent the box and the five numbers summary will include: Minimum, First quartile, Median or the second quartile, third quartile and the Maximum. The Box and Whisker Plot representation of the five number summary was first introduced by mathematician John Tukey, in 1969. The data is represented using a box and two whiskers or the starting and ending points.
The range of data and their distribution along a number line is represented using a Box plot. The data representation using a box plot does not provide with much data like in case of a histogram or a stem and leaf plot. Box plots graphs are useful to indicate a distribution and to show if there are unusual observations in the data set. If the data set is very large then also the method is very useful. If there is a need to compare two data sets box plot can be used for a better overview of the overall scenario. Finding and representing the box plot graph is very easy and reliable.
At first the data set provided is arranged in the order of least to the greatest. After that the median or the middle value is evaluated from the data set. The purpose of the finding the median is to divide the data set into two parts. After this, the median of the first half is calculated and the same is followed for the second part or the upper half of the data set. The next step is to find the lower and upper end of the data set. The five values that is calculated from the data set is known as the five number summary. The next step is to draw the box plot. This is done by representing the five numbers in a number line. Then, vertical lines are drawn from the lower quartile, median and the upper quartile. Using those vertical line a box is created and the starting and ending points are connected using a horizontal line to the number line. The horizontal line is also known as whiskers. The evaluation of the middle value help to divide the data into four quartiles. The box plot helps to represent these four quartiles and a shorter distance shows that the data is bunched and a longer distance of the whisker shows that the data is spread out.
If the median value cannot be determined from the data set then the average of the two middle value are taken and is treated as the median value. The same method is followed for the two halves of the data set.
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