How to Organize Data with Charts & Graphs

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  • 0:03 What Is Data?
  • 0:49 Gathering and Organizing Data
  • 1:39 Examples of Graphs and Charts
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cory Haley
Research is only valuable if you can share the data effectively. In this lesson, we'll learn how to organize data and construct various charts and graphs to represent research data.

What Is Data?

Data is a collection of information from facts, statistics, numbers, characteristics, observations, and measurements that represent an idea. There are two forms of data. Quantitative data deals with the quantity (for example, the number of whales at Sea World). Qualitative data is another form of data that deals with the description of things. Qualitative data can be observed but not measured (such as the color of your eyes). Here are some examples of quantitative and qualitative data:

Quantitative Data Qualitative Data
Age of your car Color of the sky
Number of students in a class Softness of your skin
Number of pennies in your piggy bank Influence of extracurricular activities in a school

Gathering and Organizing Data

You may be wondering, how do we gather data? There are several ways to obtain and analyze data. As a researcher, you can use the following: surveys, focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires. A survey is a tool that a person can use to have a brief discussion about a specific topic (like favorite ice cream flavor). A focus group is a group of individuals being interviewed or observed on a specific topic (such as discussion on school safety).

An interview can be a one-on-one or group discussion as well, where the observer is trying to compile information about a specific topic. A questionnaire shares the same characteristics of a survey, focus group, and interview, as it's a list of questions the observer has compiled for the specific topic. These tools are great to use to organize and visually represent data using various charts and graphs.

Examples of Graphs and Charts

Have you heard that a picture is worth a thousand words? The organization of your data is critical when you're trying to explain the results from a researched topic. Let's review some visual representations of grouped data. Let's examine this bar graph. A bar graph is a graph with grouped data that has vertical or horizontal bars.

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