Boxplots are an easy way to view distributions using the five-number summary.

The five-number summary tells us the critical points of a distribution: the minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum values.

## When To Use a Boxplot

Use a boxplot when you want to summarize a distribution. For example, you could use a boxplot to view the maximum temperatures over the last 3 months.

If you want to take a closer look at the distribution, then use a histogram. Histograms perform less aggregation to raw data than boxplots. So they are a useful tool for seeing a distribution's shape.

Boxplots are also useful for comparing distributions. For example, if you wanted to compare the max temperatures of June 2022 to the max temperatures of June 1990 you could use two boxplots side-by-side. One for June 2022 temperatures and one for June 1990 temperatures.