Pareto chart

A Pareto chart is a type of chart that contains both bars and a line graph, where individual values are represented in descending order by bars, and the cumulative total is represented by the line. The chart is named for the Pareto principle, which, in turn, derives its name from Vilfredo Pareto, a noted Italian economist.

Pareto chart
One of the Seven Basic Tools of Quality
PurposeTo assess the most frequently occurring defects by category†

The left vertical axis is the frequency of occurrence, but it can alternatively represent cost or another important unit of measure. The right vertical axis is the cumulative percentage of the total number of occurrences, total cost, or total of the particular unit of measure. Because the values are in decreasing order, the cumulative function is a concave function. To take the example below, in order to lower the amount of late arrivals by 78%, it is sufficient to solve the first three issues.

The purpose of the Pareto chart is to highlight the most important among a (typically large) set of factors. In quality control, it often represents the most common sources of defects, the highest occurring type of defect, or the most frequent reasons for customer complaints, and so on. Wilkinson (2006) devised an algorithm for producing statistically based acceptance limits (similar to confidence intervals) for each bar in the Pareto chart.

These charts can be generated by simple spreadsheet programs, such as Apache OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc[1] and Microsoft Excel,[2] visualization tools such as ThoughtSpot or Tableau Software,[3] specialized statistical software tools, and online quality charts generators.

The Pareto chart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control.[4][5]

Guide to Quality Control (1968) by Japanese organizational theorist Kaoru Ishikawa contains the first published example of a Pareto chart.[6]

See also


  1. Chart Type Column and Line
  2. Pareto Chart in Excel Best Excel Tutorial
  3. Pareto in Tableau
  4. Nancy R. Tague (2004). "Seven Basic Quality Tools". The Quality Toolbox. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: American Society for Quality. p. 15. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  5. "What is a Pareto Chart? Analysis & Diagram | ASQ". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  6. Jay Arthur (2019). "Who Invented the Pareto Chart?". Quality Digest.

Further reading

  • Hart, K. M., & Hart, R. F. (1989). Quantitative methods for quality improvement. Milwaukee, WI: ASQC Quality Press. Santosh: Pre Press
  • Juran, J. M. (1962). Quality control handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Juran, J. M., & Gryna, F. M. (1970). Quality planning and analysis. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Montgomery, D. C. (1985). Statistical quality control. New York: Wiley.
  • Montgomery, D. C. (1991). Design and analysis of experiments, 3rd ed. New York: Wiley.
  • Pyzdek, T. (1989). What every engineer should know about quality control. New York: Marcel Dekker.
  • Vaughn, R. C. (1974). Quality control. Ames, IA: Iowa State Press.
  • Wilkinson, L. (2006). "Revising the Pareto Chart". The American Statistician. 60 (4): 332–334. doi:10.1198/000313006x152243.
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