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Creating your own simple graphs

Graphs (also called charts) play an important role in data analysis. A graphic representation can make the relationship between sets of data much easier to understand. Graphs are commonly used in education to represent relationships between achievement results for different groups (for example: cohorts, classes, gender or ethnicity groups) or to show progress over time.

With a set of accurate data you can create your own graphs using spreadsheet software. Common software applications are Excel for PC and Numbers for Apple.

First, you must ensure that the data is in the correct format. (See the page on Cleaning, Sorting and Merging Data). Then decide what you want to show on a graph. 

To learn how to create simple bar and line graphs in Excel, view this video tutorial: Creating a simple graph using Excel.

You can download the data sheet below as an Excel spreadsheet to practise making graphs.

Excel icon. e-asTTle converted tabular report (Excel 27 KB)

Related concepts

Types of data

An important part of a well-designed analysis is to be aware of the types of data that are available, so that the appropriate analytic techniques are employed, and inappropriate ones avoided.

Commonly used graphs

There are a number of ways to graphically present data. Some common graphs are illustrated, with advice on how to read and interpret them and possible goals to set from them.

Further reading