A visual display of data using a diagram or graph (or chart) is called graphical representation. It is used to represent the set of data in a meaningful way. It provides data where it assists in taking decisions in a much more reliable way. Also, the graphical representation encompasses a wide range of techniques to define, evaluate and analyse the data by drawing line segments or by plotting the points in the plans. It also uses the geometrical symbol to display the visualisation of the data.
Generally, four methods are used to represent the data graphically namely bar graph, pie chart, line graph, stem and leaf plot. All these concepts will be introduced with the students at different levels of education. There are various advantages and disadvantages of graphical representation. Some of the advantages are listed below.
- Acceptability: Reports prepared using diagrams and graphs will be acceptable by many persons so that they are easy to understand the main purpose of the data. Also, this helps in saving time.
- Comparative Analysis: Graphical representation is useful in comparing the data. This type of comparative analysis will help the audience for a quick, easy understanding and attention.
- Cost reduction: If the data involves descriptive content, then it will take a vast time to understand. Also, it includes more money to print the data. Still, the graphical presentation can be made in a simple way but with a pleasant view to represent the report understandable. It involves very less cost.
- Decision Making: By seeing the graphs at a glance, business executives will be able to make a decision very promptly, which is rarely possible through the detailed reports.
- Logical Views: If the data is represented using tables, images, design, and graphs, then a logical sequence will generate to clear the view of the audience.
There are more advantages of graphical representation such as minimum time, effort, errors and complete ideas of the purpose of the data. These can be explained as shown below.
Less Effort and Time: A less time and effort is required to present any data in the form of a table, graph, design, or image. Besides, such a display makes a quick understanding of the data. For example, when dealing with statistical components like standard deviation, graphs make the audience to understand the relative measures easily without much effort
Minimum errors: Qualitative or detailed data reports involve mistakes or errors. As graphical representations are presented with the help of numerical figures, pictographs, tables, or graphs, it contains fewer errors and mistakes.
A complete Idea: Graphical representation constitutes a clear and comprehensive idea in the minds of the audience. Reading a large number (say hundreds) of pages may not help to make a decision. Anyone can get a clear idea just by looking into the graph or design.
There are some disadvantages of representing the data using graphs, images or designs. Graphical representation offers the complete visualisation of data that may hamper the purpose to keep something like a secret. There are different graphical methods to display the data and which way should be suitable is very hard to select.