I’ve Stopped Using Box Plots. Should You?




Well, as far as I can tell, the only advantage of box plots is that they show quartile ranges. The obvious next question, of course, is how often it’s necessary to show quartile ranges in order to say what you need to say about the data. In my experience, it’s not nearly as often as a lot of chart creators seem to think. Most of the time, you’re pointing out that distributions are higher or lower than one another, more concentrated or more dispersed than one another, have outliers, etc. None of these types of insights require showing quartile ranges and all can be communicated using simpler chart types. Some types of insights might require showing medians, but those can be easily added to simpler chart types:

Author(s): Nick Desbarats

Publication Date: 4 Nov 2021

Publication Site: Nightingale