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Types of Data Displays Based on the 2008 AZ State Mathematics Standard

Pictograph (Grades 1 and 2)

Pictograph (Grades 1 and 2) For Grade 1: the pictures/icons in the pictograph represent a quantity of 1. For Grade 2: The pictures/icons in the pictograph represent more than 1 and a key is required to interpret the graph.

Pictograph Example

Pictographs Summary Pictograph A pictograph uses an icon to represent a quantity of data values in order to decrease the size of the graph. A key must be used to explain the icon Advantages Easy to read Visually appealing Handles large data sets easily using keyed icons Disadvantages Hard to quantify partial icons Icons must be of consistent size Best for only 2 – 6 categories Very simplistic

Tally Chart “Favorite Pets” (Grade 1)

Frequency Table “Favorite Pets” (Grades 2 and 3) Note: A frequency table may or may not have a column for the tally marks.

Pictograph made from the previous tally chart and frequency table

Bar Graphs (Grades 2, 3, 4, 5) Bar graph A bar graph displays discrete data in separate columns. A double bar graph can be used to compare two data sets. Categories are considered unordered and can be rearranged alphabetically, by size, etc. Advantages Visually strong Can easily compare two or three data sets. Disadvantages Graph categories can be reordered to emphasize certain effects. Use only with discrete data

Bar Graphs (Grades 2, 3, 4, 5) Grade 2: Single Bar Graph Grade 3: Single Bar Graph Grade 4: Double Bar Graph Grade 5: Multi-Bar Graph

Bar Graph made from previous tally chart and pictograph

Bar Graphs Example

Horizontal Bar Graph Example

Vertical Bar Graph Example

Which Direction? Vertical Bar Graph Displays data better than horizontal bar graphs, and is preferred when possible. Horizontal Bar Graph Useful when category names are too long to fit at the foot of a column.

Vertical vs. Horizontal

Double Bar Graph (Grade 4)

Multi-Bar Graph (Grade 5)

Line Graph (Grades 3, 4, 5) Line graph A line graph plots continuous data as points and then joins them with a line. Multiple data sets can be graphed together, but a key must be used. Advantages Can compare multiple continuous data sets easily Interim data can be inferred from graph line. Disadvantages Use only with continuous data

Grade 3: Single Line Graph Grade 4: Single Line Graph Grade 5: Double Line Graph Line Graph (Grades 3, 4, 5)

Single Line Graph (Grades 3 and 4)

Double Line Graph (Grade 5)

Pie Chart – Circle Graph (Grade 4) Pie chart A pie chart displays data as a percentage of the whole. Each pie section should have a label and percentage. A total data number should be included. Advantages Visually appealing Shows percent of total for each category. Disadvantages No exact numerical data Hard to compare 2 data sets “Other” category can be a problem Total unknown unless specified Best for 3 – 7 categories Use only with discrete data

Pie Chart – Circle Graph Example

Pie (circle) charts – more info A way of summarizing a set of categorical data or displaying the different values of a given variable (e.g. percentage distribution). A circle is divided into a series of segments. Each segment represents a particular category. The area of each segment is the same proportion of a circle’s area as the category is of the total data set. Quite popular. Circle provides a visual concept of the whole (100%).

Best used for displaying statistical information when there are no more than six components – otherwise, the resulting picture will be too complex to understand. Pie charts are not useful when the values of each component are similar because it is difficult to see the differences between slice sizes.

Stem and Leaf Plot (Grade 6) Stem and Leaf Plot Stem and leaf plots record data values in rows, and can easily be made into a histogram. Large data sets can be accommodated by splitting stems. Advantages Concise representation of data Shows range, minimum & maximum, gaps & clusters, and outliers easily Can handle extremely large data sets Disadvantages Not visually appealing Does not easily indicate measures of centrality for large data sets.

Stem and Leaf Plot

Histograms (Grade 6) Histogram A histogram is a type of bar graph that displays continuous data in ordered columns. Categories are of continuous measure such as time, inches, temperature, etc. Advantages Visually strong Can compare to normal curve Usually vertical axis is a frequency count of items falling into each category. Disadvantages Cannot read exact values because data is grouped into categories. More difficult to compare two data sets. Use only with continuous data.


Line Plot (Grade 4 and 5) Line plot A line plot can be used as an initial record of discrete data values. The range determines a number line which is then plotted with X’s (or something similar) for each data value. Advantages Quick analysis of data Shows range, minimum & maximum, gaps & clusters, and outliers easily Exact values retained. Disadvantages Not as visually appealing Best for under 50 data values Needs small range of data

Line Plots (dot plot) Example

Line Plot for the Number of M&M’s™ in a Package X XX X X XX X XX XXXXX X XXXXXXXX X 121314151617181920212223 Graph paper is a good idea for it is crucial that each recorded X be uniform in size and placed exactly across from each other (one-to-one correspondence). Notice the cluster at 17 & 18 as well as the gap at 13 and 22. The mode is 18, the median is the second X from the bottom for number 18, and the mean is 17.68 or 18.

Line plot made from a Tally Chart

There are many more types of Data Displays Here are a few – – –

Stacked Vertical Bar Graph Example

Histogram Example (a type of bar graph)

Frequency Polygon Salaries of Acme

Box and Whisker Plot Box plot A box plot is a concise graph showing the five point summary. Multiple box plots can be drawn side by side to compare more than one data set. Advantages Shows 5-point summary and outliers Easily compares two or more data sets Handles extremely large data sets easily. Disadvantages Not as visually appealing as other graphs Exact values are not retained.

Box & Whisker Graph Example

Scatter Plot Scatter plot A scatter plot displays the relationship between two factors of the experiment. A trend line is used to determine positive, negative or no correlation. Advantages Shows a trend in the data relationship Retains exact data values and sample size. Shows minimum/maximum and outliers Disadvantages Hard to visualize results in large data sets Flat trend line gives inconclusive results. Data on both axes should be continuous.

Scatter Plot

Scatter Plot Example

No Correlation If there is absolutely no correlation present, the value given is 0.

Perfect linear correlation: A perfect positive correlation is given the value of 1. A perfect negative correlation is given the value of -1.

Strong linear correlation: The closer the number is to 1 or -1, the stronger the correlation, or the stronger the relationship between the variables.

Weak linear correlation: The closer the number is to 0, the weaker the correlation.

Map Graph Cosmograph Map chart A map chart displays data by shading sections of a map, and must include a key. A total data number should be included. Advantages Good visual appeal Overall trends show well. Disadvantages Needs limited categories No exact numerical values Color key can skew visual interpretation.

Map Chart Cosmograph

Map Graph Parts of whole so similar to a pie graph Less numerical and more graphic

Venn Diagram

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