# MathCS.org - Statistics

back | next

## 3.1 What is Graphical Data Representation

As we have seen in chapter 1, statistics is the study of making sense of data, and consists of four components: collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and presenting data. In this step we will concern ourselves with summarizing data.

Usually when data is collecting there is a lot of numbers, results, responses, etc. In fact, there is usually so much data that it needs to be summarized before it can be analyzed. One approach to summarizing data is to summarize it in graphical or tabular form. Since a picture is worth more than 10,000 words, we hope to be able to detect patterns or be able to draw conclusions once we see data presented graphically.

In this chapter we will discuss how to use Excel to create Pie and Bar Charts for categorical variables and Histograms for numerical variables. We will also show how charts can be used to emphasize different points of views without modifying or falsifying data.