Finding solid information about your business or product is an integral part of marketing. You want to make sure you are looking at reliable sources of information, however.
There are several ways to gather meaningful statistics that help you improve your business. This article will talk about some helpful graphical tools to use when gathering this information.
Tracy Vachavez has worked in advertising her whole life. As she grows older, her position as a creative director makes it more apparent how important analytics are in the field. Analytics include studying past performance, creating predictive models, and determining what changes should be made to achieve better results.
Many companies have internal software programs to do these things, but most people don’t take advantage of them because they aren’t familiar with using them. In this age of digital literacy, there are many free resources available online to learn.
The writers of this article used various charts and graphs to discuss topics such as: why numbers matter, tips for improving your company’s efficiency, and what types of statistical analysis are needed.
Determining significance in a graph
The first step in interpreting any type of graph is to determine what kind of information it contains. What does this graph mean? What numbers are linked to these lines and points?
There are two main things that graphs tell you about significant data. First, they can tell you how much influence an individual variable has on another. Second, they can show you whether or not there is enough variability within samples of your data to produce a reliable result.
When doing quantitative research (research that uses mathematics to gather information) such as questionnaire studies or surveys, statistical tests can be used to assess the importance of different variables. For example, if you were conducting a survey asking people about their experiences with a product, then you would want to know which features of the product respondents liked most.
You could ask them directly, but that may not give you very detailed results. More likely, you would use a question like “What was your favorite feature of the product?” and then list all of the answers under “Favorite Features.” By analyzing the data, you can find out which features respondents mentioned the most and which ones had the highest average intensity.
How to read a chart
When reading a chart, your first instinct should be to look at the axis. These are the numbers or categories that the chart includes in its data.
You’ll typically see one horizontal (x)-axis value for time, such as year or month, and then another vertical (y) -axis value for something else, like revenue or circulation.
The ratio of the two values is used to create what we call a “scale” for the chart. This scale can then be manipulated to show you more information about either the x- or y-axis value.
For example, if the x-axis value is three years and the y-axis value is monthly income, then you could zoom out so you have a very large picture of both axes. Or you could zoom in to get more detail on just one of them – say, yearly income.
There are several ways to do this with charts. One way is by using ratios. For instance, you could divide annual income by three to get an average per year or you could multiply monthly income by twelve to get an average per month.
These types of graphs are called comparative graphs because they compare two different things side-by-side.
Types of charts
There are several different types of graphs that you can use to show how well your business or organization is doing. Some are more appropriate than others, depending on what you want to see determined.
The first type of graph is the bar chart. These are very common and easy to make. You typically compare two items by putting one above the other. In this case, the vertical axis is called the “y-axis” because it represents the second item being evaluated.
In the case of a bar chart, the horizontal axis is usually referred to as the “x-axis” since it represents the first item being analyzed. This makes sense because you have a longer interval to analyze the relationship between the two items compared here.
A good way to understand the differences in these kinds of graphs is to think about height. If the bars were all the same length, then it would look like there was no difference in height. However, as the lengths get shorter, the taller ones seem bigger in proportion.
With a bar chart, the size of each bar corresponds to the value of the product for which it is designed! That means if one bar is twice as tall as another, the latter has only half the value of the former.
Here we can see that Product A is twice as expensive as Product B, but they both cost the same amount.
A good rule of thumb for charts
When choosing a chart type to depict a business situation, there is an easy way to determine if your choice is best. According to research, when people perceive a system or process as efficient, they like the system more than what exists now.
The same thing applies in this case. If you want to create momentum for change, people need to believe that things can get better.
So when creating a new leadership model, a motivating diagram should include both a comparison with the current leader’s model and evidence that others have succeeded with the proposed model.
It’s important to note that not every successful example will work for everyone, but looking at past successes can help inspire confidence in the future success of the model.
How to read a graph
So, how do you use graphs in your business?
Well, first of all, you want to know what kind of graph this is! This article will tell you that.
Second, you want to be able to identify the main topic, sub-topic, and supporting details of each graph.
Third, you want to understand what numbers or points in the graph mean. For instance, a vertical line under a number means that it increased while the number decreased.
A circle or other shape under a term suggests that people associate that term with an increase in the mentioned position.
Here are some examples:
Supporting detail: Many people say mayo makes your skin dry and wrinkled. That’s not true! Mayonnaise contains oils that help keep your skin hydrated.
Reliable sources of data
Finding solid information about your business or career choice is one of the most important things you will need to do before making any significant decisions.
Data is an integral part of our lives these days, so it makes sense that we now rely heavily on data in order to make smart decisions.
Businesses depend on data for everything from determining how much inventory to stock-pile to finding new employees.
As consumers, we use data to determine which brands are worth spending money on and which ones should be avoided. As professionals in the field, we look at past performance to get a feel for what can be expected from them.
There are many ways to access quality data sets pertaining to your chosen field, but not all of them are free. In this article, we will discuss some easy ways to gather reliable statistics about your favorite subject. We will also talk about some free resources to help you start analyzing and interpreting graphs.
Determining significance in a graph
The next step is determining how significant the findings are. When interpreting graphs, you have to make sure that you know what each line means before assessing importance of the finding. For example, if there is a steep drop off after some value, this does not mean the opposite value is better! It could be due to time or amount parameter changing during the period shown.
You should also look at previous charts with similar parameters to determine whether the change being observed is normal fluctuation or something worth mentioning. Finally, remember that higher numbers always indicate more effect, so when looking at one number only compare it to others or to past values instead of comparing to another number.