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What is Data Interpretation?

Data Interpretation is the act of transforming data with the objective of extracting useful information and facilitating conclusions on the basis of the given data. Depending upon the type of data and the questions, we might be required to apply certain statistical tools with various methods to represent the given data.

Before we move ahead to see and learn the various methods of representing data, let us understand some basics.

What is Data?

Data is a means to represent facts, concepts or instructions in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation or processing by humans or other automatic modes.

In other words, propositions like measurements or observations of a variable, which may comprise numbers, words or images can be quantified with the help of data.

Data can be a numerical or non-numerical fact and figure related to a particular social, economic or political event etc.

Let us see some examples of data:
Yesterday the Sensex closed at 14,004 points.
25% of the total population of India is below The poverty line.
In the last general elections in India, 40% of the total seats were won by regional parties. Data can be further understood to be an agent to cause the sentiments and even sometimes it can be effect also.
If the data given is distinct and separate, i.e. It can be counted (1, 2, 3….), then it is known as Discrete Data.
For example, population of a country, production of cars in a manufacturing plant.
However, if the data takes any value within a finite or infinite interval, then it is known as a Continuous Variable.
For example, the percentage of sugar in mangoes or weight/height etc., are continuous variables.

Significance of Organized Data

It is said, “Trust only two—God and data.” Since God cannnot be everywhere to prove a point, we have to resort to data to validate points or make inferences. The significance of data can be further illustrated by the fact that data is the basis of an argument. In fact, data is the starting point for most arguments.

However, data if not properly managed is not of much use. People at the higher echelons of any organization will have no time to go through the details of all the reports. The need for organized data becomes more pertinent because data can be used to describe a current situation with respect to its future possibility. Data can establish a relationship between different phenomenon like expenditure government in the various sectors of its annual budget vis-a-vis the priority sectors; The per capita income of different countries in relation to the number of deaths due to a particular disease.

For maximum utilization of data, it should be formatted properly for easy interpretation and deduction. However, in CAT and other B-School entrance examinations, we should not expect easy-to-comprehend data. Rather, the students should be prepared to find data which is difficult to interrelate or comprehend.

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