Parallel box plots

Parallel box-and-whisker-plots are used to visually compare the five-number summaries of two or more data sets.

For example, box-and-whisker-plots below can be used to compare the five-number summaries for the pulse rates of 19 students before and after gentle exercise.

Note that the box plot for pulse rates after exercise shows the pulse rate of 146 as a possible outlier (.). This is because the distance of this data point above the upper quartile 42 (146-104) is more than 21 (1.5 ’ IQRs = 1.5 ’ (104 – 90) = 1.5 ’ 14 = 21).

The term ‘parallel box-and-whisker plots’ is commonly abbreviated to ‘parallel boxplots’.