A Pareto chart is a special type of bar chart where the values being plotted are arranged in descending order. The graph is accompanied by a line graph which shows the cumulative totals of each category left to right. The chart is named after Vilfredo Pareto and its use in quality assurance was popularized by Joseph M. Juran and Kaoru Ishikawa.
The Pareto chart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control which include the histogram Pareto chart check sheet control chart cause-and-effect diagram flowchart and scatter diagram. See glossary of quality management. These charts can be generated in MS office or Open office tools without difficulties. It is possible to use one of the software tools or one of free "online quality chart generators" as well.
Typically on the left vertical axis is frequency of occurrence but it can alternatively represent cost or other 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. The purpose is to highlight the most important among a typically large set of factors. In quality control the Pareto chart often represents the most common sources of defects the highest occurring type of defect or the most frequent reasons for customer complaints etc.
Information extracted from Wikipedia
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