A dotplot is a graph that you can use to assess the distribution of continuous data. A dotplot plots each observation as a dot along a number line (x-axis). Values are divided into equally spaced intervals, called bins. Values that occur in the same bin are stacked. When there is not enough room to show a dot for each observation, Minitab represents multiple observations by a single dot, indicated by a footnote on the graph. Dotplots are especially useful for assessing distributions when there is a relatively small amount of data


The following graphs show the number of orders filled at fast food restaurants over a lunch hour on a single day.

Simple dotplot

This dotplot shows that the restaurant A fills most orders within 2-3 minutes.

Dotplot with groups

This dotoplot shows the distributions from two different restaurants. Restaurant A seems to fill orders more quickly.

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