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Fundamentals of Graphic Aids: Charts and Tables

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Objectives Explain the value of graphs in reports Describe the criteria for quality graphs Describe the potential for misleading data Choose the correct graph for different data sets Construct bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs

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Why use charts? clarifyTo help clarify complex data supplementTo supplement text (not substitute text) focusTo help the reader focus on the data simplifyTo simplify the reader’s comprehension

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To clarify, supplement, focus, simplify

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1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 To clarify, supplement, focus, simplify

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1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 To clarify, supplement, focus, simplify

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Criteria for Quality Graphs 1. Shows the data 2. Helps the reader focus on the data rather than on the graph itself 3. Avoids misleading the reader or distorting the data 4. Simplifies the reader’s comprehension of the data 5. Is consistent with the verbal or numeric description of the data.

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Potential for misleading the reader

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Two Different Graphs Presenting the Same Information XYZ Company Safety Violations, 1986-1989 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 1986 1987 1988 1989 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1986 1987 1988 1989 XYZ Company Safety Violations, 1986-1989

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Two Different Graphs Presenting the Same Information $515 $510 $505 $500 0 Oct Nov Dec $600 $500 $400 $100 0 Oct Nov Dec $200 $300 almost unnoticeable scale break XYZ Company Sales

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XYZ Company Cost of Operations, 1999-2000 Training & Development 10% Other 5% 35% Material & Capital Development Salaries 50% You be the judge.

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Column and Bar Charts

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Simple Vertical Column Chart Used to show changes in quantities over time.

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Simple Horizontal Bar Chart Western Cable TV Radio Station WROZ-FM Radio Station WKDM-AM 0 2 4 6 8 10 Net Income (millions of dollars) Used to changes in quantities by category.

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$3.2 million $55 $75 Expenditures for Real Estate Advertising in Selected Colorado Counties, 1998 Arapahoe County Denver County El Paso County 0 20 40 60 80 100 Thousands of dollars SCALE BREAK

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Multiple Column Chart 1999 2000 2001 Used to show changes in several different quantities over time.

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Stacked (segmented or subdivided) Chart Used to compare subdivisions of quantities (horizontal or vertical).

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Bilateral Column Chart 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Used to show positive and negative values over time.

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Choose the Correct Column or Bar Chart Situation 1: Radkur, Inc. net profit for 8 years 1993+15.2 million 1994+ 9.0 million 1995- 3.1 million 1996- 12.5 million 1997+ 5.3 million 1998+10.8 million 1999+12.1 million 2000+ 9.9 million

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Choose the Correct Column or Bar Chart Situation 2: Provide the correct graph to depict projected annual sales for XYZ Company for the next 5 years: Year Projected Sales Revenue 110.2 million 211.1 million 311.9 million 412.5million 513.5 million

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Choose the Correct Column or Bar Chart Situation 3: Provide the correct graph to depict projected income of three divisions for XYZ Company for the next 3 years as follows (in millions): Year Division A Division B Division C 1 15.2 5.1 12.7 2 22.4 8.6 14.5 3 26.7 9.5 15.8

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Pie Charts Used to show subdivisions of a whole.

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Line Charts Used to show changes in information over time.

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Format for presenting figures in the report 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Figure 1. Radkur, Inc. Net Profit, 1994-2001 Source: Primary The label and title are typed flush with the left margin on the same line below the figure. Place the source data directly below the title.

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Tables The formal table presentation includes the following parts: General introduction in the text (including a phrase such as “…as shown in Table 1”) Label (“Table”) and number Title Table containing data Source information Specific discussion in the text that points out important points in the table

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Place the source data below the table. Use borders and line divisions. The label and title are typed flush with the left margin on separate lines above the table. Center numbers in columns but align right.

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