# When might a Stemplot be useful?

3 min read

##### Asked by: Erica Jefferies

Stemplots show a little more information than a histogram and have been a common tool for displaying data sets since the 1970s. They are typically used **when there is a medium amount of quantitative variables to analyze**; Stemplots of more than 50 observations are unusual.

## What is a Stemplot best used for?

A stem and leaf plot, or stem plot, is a technique used to classify either discrete or continuous variables. A stem and leaf plot is used **to organize data as they are collected**. A stem and leaf plot looks something like a bar graph. Each number in the data is broken down into a stem and a leaf, thus the name.

## When should stem and leaf plots be used?

The stem and leaf plot is used **when your data is not too large (about 15-150 data points)**. The stem and leaf plot is drawn in a table with two columns. The stems are listed down in the left column. Each stem is listed, even if some stems have no leaves.

## How are stem and leaf plots used in real life?

Admittedly stem and leaf diagrams are **rarely used in ‘real life’**. In fact the only common examples we can find are timetables, such as the Japanese train timetable shown in the picture below (more examples here).

## Are Stemplots useful for categorical data?

**Stemplots are useful both for quantitative and categorical data sets**.

## What are the advantages of a stem and leaf display over the histogram?

The stem and leaf plot has a slight difference over the histogram as **it can be constructed more quickly and easily** as compared to histograms. The stem-leaf plot shows individual data points whereas the histogram does not.

## What type of data is best suited for use with a stem and leaf diagram?

One simple graph, the stem-and-leaf graph or stemplot, comes from the field of exploratory data analysis. It is a good choice when the **data sets are small**.

## How do you analyze a Stemplot?

Steps to Interpreting a Stem Plot

**The stems are on the left of the vertical line and the leaves are on the right**. The stems are usually the first digit of a number. So if you have a value of 25, 2 is the stem that goes on the left of the vertical line and 5 is the leaf that goes on the right.

## What is a disadvantage of using a stem-and-leaf plot instead of a histogram?

What is a disadvantage of using a stem-and-leaf plot instead of a histogram? **Histograms easily organize data of all sizes where stem-and-leaf plots do not**.

## Which plot is best for categorical variables?

**Mosaic plots** are good for comaparing two categorical variables, particularly if you have a natural sorting or want to sort by size.

## Which graph is best to show categorical data?

bar chart

With categorical or discrete data **a bar chart** is typically your best option. A bar chart places the separate values of the data on the x-axis and the height of the bar indicates the count of that category.

## What graphs can be used for categorical data?

**Frequency tables, pie charts, and bar charts** are the most appropriate graphical displays for categorical variables.

## Is a stem plot categorical or quantitative?

While Bar Graphs and Pie Charts are used to graph Categorical Data, there are many methods of graphing **Quantitative Data**. These include dotplots, stemplots, histograms, and boxplots.

## Is a stem-and-leaf plot categorical?

A Stem and Leaf Plot is a means to visualize the distribution of a continuous variable and thus determine the shape of the distribution of it, **either on its own or in relation to a dichotomous categorical variable**.