# Numeracy & Quantitative Methods: Numeracy for Professional Purposes Laura Lake.

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Numeracy & Quantitative Methods: Numeracy for Professional Purposes Laura Lake

Same principles at tables apply: Purpose is to present summary evidence that supports the discussions, conclusions or inferences outlined in the research report. Care taken in: 1.selecting the data the chart will represent 2.how the chart is designed. Charts - Purpose

Charts are a valuable way of visually presenting data Good for: showing the distribution of data displaying trends and comparisons showing either of these with small number of values Not so good for: showing a particular set of values (tables more suitable) showing large number of values Charts – Purpose

Many different chart types but the most familiar types are: bar charts pie charts line graphs With these there are general and specific rules to follow about presenting charts Chart Types

Checklist: Clear title – what the chart shows plus geographic area covered, time period, and units of measurement Data source Colours – when using make sure they are easy to distinguish from one another Labels – label key values and include a legend Displaying Charts

Bars can be either vertical or horizontal and can show single or a cluster of variables. Width of bars needs to be equal. Axis start at zero. Logical order e.g. by size unless there is another natural order (time, age etc.). Displaying Bar Charts

Good Bar Chart Example Chart 1: Age of survey participants, 2011 Source: A research company, 2011

Limit the number of pie slices Order the data Better for single variable analysis. For comparisons of a variable between a factor such as males and females, bar charts are more appropriate. Displaying Pie Charts

Bad Pie Chart Example % ?

Good Bar Chart Example Chart 2: Number of hours worked by survey participants, 2011 Source: A research company, 2011

Good Bar Chart Example Chart 3: Number of hours worked by survey participants, 2011 Source: A research company, 2011

Include axis labels and start axis start at zero. The height of the vertical axis should be just larger than the largest value being plotted Can use more than one line (e.g. for responses to a variable by different companies, ages, geographical locations and so on). Displaying Line Graphs

Good Line Graph Example Chart 4: Tons Exported (thousands), 2001 to 2011 Source: A research company, 2011

Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. David, M. and Sutton, C. (2011) Social Research : An Introduction. 2nd ed. London: Sage. References