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# Data visualization and Microsoft Excel charts session - handout

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• 1. 1 Illustrating data – Making charts with Excel Instructor Development Program of Dec 17, 2013 at the UC Berkeley Library Jeffery Loo – jloo@berkeley.edu Overview 1. Determine if a chart is needed 2. Pick the best chart for your data analysis and story 3. Design the chart for ease of reading and comprehension 4. Build the chart in Excel and embed in a document Step 1. Determine if a chart is needed Sometimes tables are the best format to present your data, and sometimes charts are better. How do you know when to use a chart?1 Use a table Use a chart for ease of looking up values to reveal relationships among the values when precise values are required when the message is contained in the shape of the values Activity: Table or chart, which would you select to represent the following data? Mark with an X. Data The birthdate of every student library employee The rising and falling numbers of student library employees working in each semester from 1995 to present Important historical events in British Columbia and the year they occurred The correlation between the number of hours worked by student library employees and their academic success Table Chart
• 2. 2 Step 2. Pickthe bestchart for your data analysis and story Picking the best chart begins with articulating the story you want to tell through your data. What is your message? What is the relationship you want to display? Quantitative messages In fact, there are seven common quantitative messages you can express with charts.2 They differ in how the separate values relate to one another. Value comparison comparing things in different categories (in no particular order) Time-Series showing changes in values over time Ranking showing the order of something by size or rank Part-to-Whole demonstrating how a part relates to the whole Deviation showing the difference from a standard reference Distribution showing the number of things in different categories Correlation showing that two or more measures are related (e.g., time spent studying and academic success)
• 3. 3 Common chart types3 Histogram Each rectangle represents a bin of values/categories, and the area represents the number of observations for each bin Pie chart Each slice of the pie represents a percentage value of the whole pie Relative numbers of native English speakers in the major English-speaking countries of the world Column/Bar chart Rectangular bars are proportional to values that they represent Prisoners per 100,000 of the population of the country – 2005 Line chart Data points are arranged in a sequence (e.g., time, rank order) and they are connected by lines
• 4. 4 Scatterplot Data points display values for two variables
• 5. 5 Recommended charts for different quantitative messages4 Pie chart Works better with fewer categories so pie slices are easier to view
• 6. 6 More guidance for chart selection is available.5
• 7. 7 Chartanatomy6 1. Title Rainfall in major cities of British Columbia, December 2015 45 40 40 40 6. Gridlines 35 5. Data Labels 30 30 25 25 2. Legend 25 Rainfall (mm) 20 15 Vancouver Victoria 10 10 5 5 4. Scale 0 1-Dec 2-Dec 3-Dec 4-Dec Date 5-Dec 6-Dec 7-Dec 3. Axis 1. Title 2. The Legenddistinguishes the variables in the chart by listing them and giving an example of their appearance. 3. Axes are fixed reference lines for measurement coordinates. The horizontal axis is also known as the x-axis; the vertical axis as the y-axis. Normally, the horizontal axis represents the independent variable, which is the measure that the researcher/observer has control over in the research design (e.g., time, date, category). 4. Scaleis the proportion and marking of the measurement on an axis. It is usually numerical or categorical 5. Data labelsdescribe data points. 6. Grid lines visually align the data to facilitate reading.