Graphs Vs Charts

Updated on April 18, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited bySheeba M
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between Graphs Vs Charts

Graphs vs Charts in Excel helps us understand the similarities and differences between the plotted Graphs and the generated Charts of the variables in a dataset. They display data values pictorially, allowing users to easily understand and analyze the data.

Graphs mostly represent numerical data by showing the relation between numeric variables and how one number affects or changes another. However, charts are the graphical representation of data that may or may not be related.

All graphs are a type of chart, but not all charts are graphs”. The statement sums up the two very well and outlays which one is broader and a subset of the other.

For example, the graph and the charts are shown in the images below.

chart Example

We can plot a graph or a chart for any given dataset.

Key Takeaways

  • Graphs vs Charts helps us understand the difference between data representations using the inbuilt charts in Excel and plotting graphs on the generated charts to display the trend.
  • They are frequently used to present raw and exact data, and deliver it to make it visually appealing and easy to understand for the intended users.
  • It is possible to misunderstand Graphs and Charts due to minor differences between them. However, these powerful visual representation tools, display large data sets graphically and are understandable.

What Is A Graph?

Graphs mainly focus on raw data and depict the trend overtime-related to such data. A two-dimensional graph shows the relationship between the data through a line, curve, etc., using the horizontal line along the bottom (called X-axis) and the vertical line up the side (called Y-axis). One dictionary defines a Graph as, “A Graph is a mathematical diagram that shows the relationship between two or more sets of numbers or measurements”. A graph allows the user to easily represent the values in the data through a visual representation.

–>> If you want to learn Excel and VBA professionally, then ​Excel VBA All in One Courses Bundle​ (35+ hours) is the perfect solution. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this bundle covers it all – from Basic Excel to Advanced Excel, Macros, Power Query, and VBA.

Graph Example

An example of a basic graph is shown below:

basic graph

The above graph is a basic graph that allows the user to visualize that the data plotted on its Y-axis are on an increasing trend, shown in years on the X-axis. There are two types of graphs: bar graphs and line graphs.

Graphs vs Charts Explaination

You are free to use this image on your website, templates, etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: Graphs Vs Charts (wallstreetmojo.com)

What Is A Chart?

A chart is a type of representation of large sets of data, which makes the user understand the same better. Using the same helps predict existing data and forecast future data based on the present data pattern. A chart can be a diagram, a picture, or a graph. We can transform data variables into a visual, graphical, or pictorial, representation using charts.

Chart Example

An example of a simple chart is shown below:

Basic Chart

There are many more chart types. However, based on the user requirement, the type of charts can be applied and generated to display the data graphically.

Graphs Vs Charts Infographics

Here, we provide the top 6 differences between Graphs and Charts.


You are free to use this image on your website, templates, etc, Please provide us with an attribution linkHow to Provide Attribution?Article Link to be Hyperlinked
For eg:
Source: Graphs Vs Charts (wallstreetmojo.com)

Graphs Vs Charts – Key Differences

  • Charts represent a large set of information in graphs, diagrams, or in the form of tables. At the same time, the graph shows the mathematical relationship between varied groups of data. It is a type of chart but not all of it. A graph is a type of subgroup of a chart. On the contrary, a chart can take a graph, diagram, or picture form.
  • Charts projects any data in a visually engaging pattern. However, in the case of a graph, it is ideal to have data that depicts any relationship between the plotted variables on the axes for better understanding.
  • Charts are handy to use in cases where the data to be presented well categorized (such as by region, age bucket, etc.) or averaged, which will further enable simple display. On the contrary, graphs are more intended for identifying trends or patterns in the data sets.

Graphs Vs Charts Comparative Table

MeaningA graph is a chart that shows the mathematical relationship between varied data sets by plotting horizontal (X-axis) and vertical (Y-axis).A chart represents information as a diagram, table, or graph. It comprises various methods for presenting large information.
SubsetAll graphs are charts. It means that no matter which type of graph one uses to display the data, it will always be a type of chart subset.All charts are not graphs. It means there can be other types of charts that are not graphs.
Data AnalyzedGraphs can be used for raw data and visually represent trends and changes in the data.Ideal for those forms of data which can be easily structured or categorized into small subsets of simple and easily understandable figures.
UsageGraphs find their usage more when analyzing raw data and exact numbers. As such shows, accurate numerical figures are plotted on its axes.Charts find their excess use in business presentations and in showing survey results. For example, pie charts are most popularly used in business presentations.
Trend AnalysisA graph is an ideal choice for those data which depict some trend or relation between variables described on the graph.We can also use charts in those cases where the data shown does not depict any trend or relationship.
Common TypesLine GraphLine GraphLine Graphs/Charts in Excels are visuals to track trends or show changes over a given period & they are pretty helpful for forecasting data. They may include 1 line for a single data set or multiple lines to compare different data sets. read more and bar graph.Popular chart types are pie charts, histograms, and vertical and historical Bar ChartBar ChartBar charts in excel are helpful in the representation of the single data on the horizontal bar, with categories displayed on the Y-axis and values on the X-axis. To create a bar chart, we need at least two independent and dependent variables.read more.

Recommended Articles

This article is a guide to Graphs vs Charts. Here we discuss the differences between Charts & Graphs, infographics & comparison table, & downloadable template. You may also have a look at the following articles: –

Reader Interactions


  1. Samuel Sabo Ishaku says

    Well explained.

  2. Samuel Sabo Ishaku says

    Very detailed. Thanks a lot.

  3. Manoj P Chakerwarti says

    Excellent explanation given thanks for sharing.
    All the best and keep it up.

  4. Christina v Mcgill says

    Like the answer

  5. Harshana Weragama says

    A problem solved. I have always had and issue in understanding the difference between the Charts and Graphs. Thank you for the great explanation.

  6. Vivek Reddy says

    Very good in distinguishing between graphs and charts. Excellent. Thank you.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks for your kind words!

    • Craig says

      Graphs and charts they are not the same but the same in a way. The structure of a graph can analyze data so the eye can see the unique patterns of flowing charts of visual data. Charts have many of the same characteristics just different data to which is unknown for the eye to see. Only knowledge of all the data which graphs and charts show only represent what is given by the person creating them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *