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Tables and Graphs

Tables and Graphs

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Organizing and Making Sense of Data Through Tables and Graphs

Trying to make sense of unorganized data can be a frustrating and confusing task. However, by utilizing tables and various types of graphs, data can be analyzed, visualized, and interpreted in order to gain a better understanding. In this article, we will explore how tables and graphs can be used to achieve this.

What is Data?

Data refers to information and knowledge gathered about a specific topic or situation. It can encompass numbers, facts, observations, measurements, statistics, or survey results and is typically collected through research.

The Benefits of Tables

Tables are effective tools for organizing data and making it easier to analyze. They consist of rows and columns that categorize data and can be sorted in ascending or descending order. Each row and column represents a specific category, typically labeled at the top of each column and left-hand side of each row.

A Practical Example of Tables

Let's take a look at an example of a table displaying the global revenue of XYZ Company from 2010 to 2020, broken down by product segment (in million dollars):

YearProduct SegmentRevenue (in million dollars)2010Food and Beverages5,0002011Personal Care4,5002012Home Care6,8572013Food and Beverages5,7002014Personal Care6,3002015Home Care7,5002016Food and Beverages6,8002017Personal Care8,0002018Home Care5,2672019Food and Beverages7,2002020Personal Care8,500

Now, let's answer these questions based on the data:

1. In which year did XYZ Company experience the highest increase in revenue?

The year with the highest increase in revenue was 2018, with a increase of 2,467 million dollars compared to the previous year (2017). This can be seen by the highlighted cell in green in the table.

2. In which year did XYZ Company have the biggest drop in revenue?

The biggest drop in revenue occurred in 2014, with a decrease of 1,200 million dollars compared to the previous year (2013). This can be seen by the highlighted cell in yellow in the table.

The Power of Graphs

Graphs are visual representations that can aid in understanding and analyzing data by showing the relationship between two or more variables. They can also assist in making inferences and interpreting data.

The Different Types of Graphs

The main types of graphs used for data analysis are:

  • Bar Graphs
  • Line Graphs
  • Pie Charts
  • Scatter Plots

Bar Graphs

Bar graphs, also known as bar charts, use bars of equal width to represent different categories. The height of each bar is determined by the data it represents and the chosen scale. Here are the steps to create a bar graph from a data set:

  • Choose an appropriate scale based on the data range
  • Draw the axes and label them
  • Draw a bar for each category, with the length being proportional to the values from the table
  • Select a title for the graph, relevant to the variables being represented

Bar graphs can be either vertical or horizontal, depending on the data being presented.

Let's take a look at our previous example and create a bar graph displaying XYZ Company's total revenue per year from 2010 to 2020:

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