Plotly box plys

Plotly box plots

A very happy discovery today – Plotly, a collaborative data analysis and graphing tool. Looking at the pricing plans the free plan allows for 10 private files to be saved but unlimited public files; Plotly is free for educational use.

Plotly looks very sophisticated with many options and is certainly something I will return to in future posts as I find out more. The images here show the different types of charts which can be created.

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Plotly box plot

Plotly box plot

I was initially particularly interested in box plots as although they can be created in Excel it takes a bit of fiddling around to do so. With Plotly, simply upload your data or copy and paste it in and there are your box plots! Note the outliers shown clearly. Hovering over a plot displays the data.

Plotly Help

Plotly Help

To create the box plots illustrated here I initially started with the Math box plot example from the given examples, chose view data, deleted the given data then copied and pasted my own data (with all three columns in ascending order); I then selected all columns, changed the names to display and chose Box plot.

Choosing Help gives you the choices shown here; the instructions are very clearly set out.

If you want to code yourself, you can; see Plotly’s API Libraries. I will certainly be experimenting further with creating charts in Excel with Plotly.

See the Plotly blog for further information; see this post for example on best fit lines in Plotly or try Contour plots, error bars, chocolate, beer, meat and Facebook for a collection of examples showing the great variety, customisation and sophistication Plotly offers.

An update – Plotly Feed – just admire the beautiful graphs and presentation of information.

You can follow Plotly on Twitter or Facebook. (You do not have to be a Facebook or Twitter user to view these pages).

Update: December 2014 Plotly have put together 11 favourite graphs from 2014 

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Learn and explore Plotly – there are clear tutorials available on the Plotly site.

3 comments on “Plotly

  1. Pingback: Box Plots with Plotly (& more Statistics Resources) | Mathematics, Learning and Technology

  2. Hi Colleen,
    Not sure where you find the time for all the neat ideas, but I love following your post “every” week. Desmos is great, but I see that Plotly has potential, but not quite as intuitive as Desmos.
    I was introduced to a site that you might like: or
    If you have ever used Clickers in your class, this is the ultimate in convenience. You make up the quiz with multiple choice answers (like the Diagnostic Test site) and the students log in with a code. I teach at a school where all students (grade 6 -12) are issued laptops, so works well. Students can also use I-phones or tablets to answer the quiz. Students can also create their own quiz, just like diagnostic questions.
    Super easy and free (at least for the time being!)

    • Hi Christa; you are most kind – glad you find this blog useful! Agree Plotly not as intuitive as Desmos but it’s a very different product; I regard it as complementary – I’m glad I have found something I can create box plots with! Desmos remains awesome, so intuitive as you say – simple enough for a young child to use.
      The site you mention looks very interesting – I’ll certainly check that out – thank you.

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