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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.

Once you have a set of accurate data, you can create your own graphs using spreadsheet software. Common software applications are Excel for PCs and Numbers for Apple.

First, decide what you want to show on a graph and ensure the data is in the correct format. In this demonstration, using OTJ data, watch the process as data is put into a form from which you can create a graph, and then simple graphs are created in a number of formats quickly and easily using the spreadsheet software.

This data set can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet for you to practise making graphs.

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

To learn how you create simple bar and line graphs in Excel, view the video tutorial below.

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