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The Approach to Data Interpretation:
Data interpretation is an ability to decipher the information/data, usually provided in a graphical form. These problems have become a necessary component of all competitive exams, since this type of questioning makes it is easier to evaluate the candidate’s perceptiveness with numbers.
Various forms of data presentation:

Tabular Form

This is the most conventional form of representation of data. Data is represented in a tabular form as represented below.

Comparative Sales Figures of Various Tooth Pastes For First Five months of ’98
(All Figures in Rs ‘000 (fictional))
BRAND January February March April May
Close-Up 342 360 360 410 415
Colgate 1580 1600 1640 1660 1780
Pepsodent 37 51 42 47 44

Line Chart

Data is represented on lines. Only a cursory glance can give you a lot of information. Especially used by stock brokers to study movement of share prices.

Eg. Share price movement of Two Blue Chips – X & Y – on BSE

Bar Chart

This is an improvisation over the line graph where in it is easy to see the actual difference very easily. Refer to the following graph which depicts the percentage of boys and girls, in various age groups, studying at a particular level.

Pie Chart

As the name suggests Pie Charts depict information in the form of a Pie, i.e. as per area of the circle. The differences are very clearly highlighted when we have more than two or three items to compare.

The following two pie charts compare the receipt and expenditure of each rupee by the Government of India.

Compound Chart

Here in two or more different types of graphs may be given and one would have to co-relate the data from these.

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