Error bars in data visualization

How to interpret error bars in plots while data visualization?

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Error Bars help to indicate estimated error or uncertainty to give a general sense of how precise a measurement is. This is done through the use of markers drawn over the original graph and its data points. Typically, Error bars are used to display either the standard deviation, standard error, confidence intervals or the minimum and maximum values in a ranged dataset.

To visualise this information, Error Bars work by drawing cap-tipped lines that extend from the centre of the plotted data point (or edge with Bar Charts). The length of an Error Bar helps reveal the uncertainty of a data point: a short Error Bar shows that values are concentrated, signalling that the plotted average value is more likely, while a long Error Bar would indicate that the values are more spread out and less reliable. Also depending on the type of data, the length of each pair of Error Bars tend to be of equal length on both sides. However, if the data is skewed, then the lengths on each side would be unbalanced.

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