Creating a good graph

Creating a good graph

The need to operate calculations and statistics makes necessary the realization of a detailed graph, one that you can make changes to in a direct manner. But, making a chart is not such a simple thing and to do that, you will have to put various methods into practice. A diagram can be done with a PC and programs like Excel or by hand using pen and paper. This is a good thing to do, speaking from the practical point of view, but how do you design a graph that has excellent quality? Let’s say you need to follow some simple steps and here are the main ones. They have a general value, regardless of the type of chart you choose. Let’s see how to make a good graph.

Reach the top with your graph

Reach the top with your graph

Assign a title to your chart

You must always give a title to the chart, one that is short but effective, so when someone who has never seen it before takes a look at it, .he may understand immediately what it is about. Most programs have you choose the title of the chart at the first step of their wizard

Cite the source of the data

When you proceed to the creation of a chart, you must remember to always quote the sources of data, even if the source is a personal study or personal material. The source gives authority to the data shown (assuming itself to be authoritative) and it also allows readers to trace the origins of that data.

Pie chart

3D pie chart

Explain the units of measurement

In many diagrams you see values and numbers ​​in a row, but if they don’t have a unit of measurement, you can’t understand them, can you? For example, if a diagram shows the distance traveled, and there is a sequence of numbers from 1 to 10, how do you know if it is talking about 8 km, 8m or 8 cm? Therefore, it is important to state the unit of measurement used every time.

Enter the legend on the charts

Another very important element to be taken into account is the fact that in the diagram, there the trends of different sizes are shown. This means that there should always be a legend to help the reader understand what are the different chart elements (lines, bars, histograms, etc). For the graphical representation, you must choose the one that is more likely to be understood and that should be done in relation to the type of data to be displayed.

Remember that each data set has its own optimal graphical representation that will be written down so don’t think that the first graph option you see is the best and schoose carefully.

By +Nikos Kontorigas

About Nikos Kontorigas

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