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Formats of Presenting the Data

Having discussed earlier, the significance of organized data, we can automatically conclude that the same data when presented in an unorganized way makes difficult reading and is not of much use. The same data can be presented differently. In one format, it might make easy reading; in another format, it might make difficult reading.
 
Example-1
  Location 1 Location 2 Location 3 Location 4 Location 5
2004 112 128 98 132 102
2005 118 147 120 120 108
2006 120 144 126 124 113
 


A company is selling its products at five different locations and the sales value (Rs thousands) of different locations for three consecutive years is given.
 

 
Question
Which of the following locations has the maximum sum of sales value for the three years?
  1. Location 1
  2. Location 2
  3. Location 3
  4. Location 4
Solution
This question simply requires the sum of the sales value of each of the locations for three years. Obviously, location 2 is the answer.
 
However, if we convert the same data into a bar chart, then it can be seen by simple observation that location 2 is the answer.
 
Description: 48716.png
 
Since the bar of location 2 is above the other two for two years and in 2004, it is just a bit lower than one of the bars; we can simply say that location 2 produces the maximum combined sales value for the three years.
 
 
Example-2
Which of the following locations has the minimum sum of sales value for the three years?
  1. Location 1
  2. Location 2
  3. Location 3
  4. Location 5
Solution
It can be seen that the bar of location 5 is lower than all the bars for two years and once it is equal to the bar of location 3; hence, location 5 produces the minimum combined sales value for the three years.
 
If we convert the same data into a line chart, it becomes more obvious than the bar chart that location 2 and location 5 give the maximum and minimum sales value for the given period.
 
Description: 48710.png
 
 
Example-3
Which of the following locations has seen the maximum percentage increase in the sales value in 2005 over 2004?
 
Solution
If we try to solve this question with the help of bar chart, it becomes a bit difficult without having the actual values. So, we are left with either the line chart or the given table.
 
In case of a table, this question can definitely be solved by calculation and observation. But if we see the same situation in case of a line chart, we can simply rule out location 1/location 4/location 5 as the answer. Now, from the remaining two locations 2 and 3, despite the slope being almost the same, the base in location 3 is very low with respect to the base in location 2.
 
Hence, location 3 will have more percentage increase.
 
 
We will learn more about the different formats of presenting data, ahead in this chapter.

Hence, we can see that with different forms of data representation, one can gather different conclusions just by visual inspection. However, the speed with which this conclusion can be drawn depends heavily on the kind of chart given.




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