A unique approach weaves background information about data with practical, hands-on lessons that develop fundamental research skills all students should understand. Easy-to-follow tutorials provide readers with step-by-step instructions to quickly begin analyzing data without having advanced knowledge of data analysis or statistics. Extensive illustrations throughout the book demonstrate to readers how to understand data. End-of-chapter On Your Own exercises challenge readers to develop their skills through easy-to-use data files and questions to reinforce the chapter learning objectives. Student Study Site includes data sets that readers can use to test their data literacy

Charting Choices

When creating data visualizations, part of the challenge is picking the right type of chart. Excel gives us around a dozen options, everything from the simple pie chart to sparklines. So, the big question becomes, Which option should we choose? That is, which will be the most appropriate and communicate the best? The answer depends on the kind of data that we want to visualize. Here is a guide to the chart options and the data types that they’re best suited to display.

Visualizing data with charts

Pie charts are the best tool for showing proportions of the whole. These charts are the visual equivalent of using a spreadsheet to calculate the percent of total. As long as ...

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