Error Bars with Chart.js

If your data comes with uncertainty (margins of error), we recommend you show it in your visualizations with the use of error bars. The bar chart template shown in Figure 11.2 shows median and mean (average) income for different-sized geographies: the US state of Colorado, Boulder County, Boulder city, and a census tract in the city.

Figure 11.2: Interactive bar chart with error bars in Chart.js. Explore the interactive version.

To create your own bar or column chart with error bars, with data loaded from a CSV file, using our Chart.js template follow the steps below:

  1. Go to our GitHub repo for this Chart.js template that contains the code for the chart in Figure 11.2, log into your GitHub account, and click Use this template to create a copy that you can edit.

  2. Prepare your data in CSV format and upload into a data.csv file. Place labels that will appear along the axis in the first column, and each data series in its own column (accompanied by a column with uncertainty values). Your CSV must contain at least three columns (labels and one data series with associated uncertainty values). You can add as many data series columns as you wish.

| geo            | median | median_moe | mean   | mean_moe |
| Colorado       | 68811  | 364        | 92520  | 416      |
| Boulder County | 78642  | 1583       | 109466 | 2061     |
| Boulder city   | 66117  | 2590       | 102803 | 3614     |
| Tract 121.02   | 73396  | 10696      | 120588 | 19322    |
  1. In script.js, customize the values of variables shown in the code snippet below:
var TITLE = 'Household Income for Select US Geographies, 2018';

// `false` for vertical (column) chart, `true` for horizontal bar
var HORIZONTAL = false;

// `false` for individual bars, `true` for stacked bars
var STACKED = false;  

// Which column defines "bucket" names?
var LABELS = 'geo';

// For each column representing a series, define its name and color
var SERIES = [
    column: 'median',
    name: 'Median Income',
    color: 'grey',
    errorColumn: 'median_moe'
    column: 'mean',
    name: 'Mean Income',
    color: '#cc9999',
    errorColumn: 'mean_moe'

// x-axis label and label in tooltip
var X_AXIS = 'Geography';

// y-axis label and label in tooltip
var Y_AXIS = 'US Dollars';

// `true` to show the grid, `false` to hide
var SHOW_GRID = true;

// `true` to show the legend, `false` to hide
var SHOW_LEGEND = true;

For more customization, see Chart.js documentation.