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June 8, 2021

How to Create a Dot Strip Plot

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Dot strip plots are a space-efficient method of laying out ranks across multiple categories. They are useful for showing the distribution of small data sets. For larger data sets, a histogram would be a more effective visualization.

In a dot strip plot, the dots placed in order on a strip and typically include a reference line for either the median or the average. My default is to use median reference lines as these are better for reducing the impact of outliers. 

In this example, I show you how to:

  1. Create a dot strip plot showing the median sale by model and date for each car make
  2. Include a reference band from to lower to upper quartile to make it easier to see the outliers in the data
  3. Color the marks that are above or below the median

Download the sample data used in the tutorial here.

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