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Do You Understand Charts and Graphs?

picture of charts and graphs

Do you find charts and graphs more puzzling than helpful? As I was sitting at work yesterday (I started my summer job at IT Service Desk on Monday of this week), I looked at a flowchart taped to the wall and got an idea for a blog post. I hope that after reading today's post, you will either have a better understanding of how charts and graphs work, get a good laugh or two, or both.

My wife Becka says that she does not like pie charts. Here are several that I think are easy to understand.

If you are planning a road trip this summer, you might want to print this one out and keep it in the car to help you understand what's happening (or not happening) on the road ahead of you.

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If that chart was confusing to you, maybe this one will help you understand what pie charts are designed to help you understand.

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After seeing the following picture, I will probably think of it whenever I see or hear about a pie chart.

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Even if Becka doesn't like pie charts, I'm glad she makes great pies! Check some of them out on her blog....

Graphs are not always helpful to me. Here are several that I find to be clear.

In these weeks preceding our primaries here in South Carolina, we need to keep the following in mind.

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We enjoy some of the CSI shows on TV where an entire staff can devote its every waking moment (as well as the time that most humans would be sleepng) to trying to solve one single crime. This graph seems to be true from what we've observed.

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Now that you understand pie charts and graphs better, here's a blend of the two.

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Flowcharts are often overwhelming to me. Here's a basic flowchart that I can grasp, even though I don't use a snooze alarm.

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Here's a sanitized version of a funny flowchart I've seen on the web and elsewhere.

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Here's a copy of the flowchart that is posted above my computer at work.

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Venn diagrams seem to be the hardest for many of us. Do you remember those math classes where they tried to get us to understand "set theory." Each circle contains something that is not outside the circle. The areas of overlap contain the elements of the circles that "intersect." Here are several that are easy enough to understand.

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Here's one that is more complicated, but it's meant to help us understand the difference between dweebs, dorks, geeks and nerds.

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If I'm reading it correctly, a nerd (the area where all three circles overlap) is someone who is intelligent, socially inept, and obsessive. Maybe I really was a nerd in high school....

You can tell that a student made up this Venn diagram.

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This final diagram should clinch what I hope is your now firm grasp of the concept behind Venn diagrams.

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Have you found this post helpful or are you more confused, but happier? 😀


"Most of the fruit of the Spirit is relational." - Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Every idea has its doubters; every accomplishment, its critics.

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11 Comments on “Do You Understand Charts and Graphs?”

  1. #1 Vikki
    on May 13th, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I love these!!! My favorite is the “You Poor Idiot” infinite loop in the “Does the Dumb Thing Work” diagram.

    The post office hours diagram can be used for doctor’s offices and banks too. The bank we use only has one branch in the area that’s open on Saturdays.

  2. #2 Scoti Domeij
    on May 13th, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Hilarious! Not sure how I discovered your blog, but I enjoy your humor. Love the quote.

  3. #3 Hannah Joy
    on May 13th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    The first pie chart is missing a significant piece:

    “Truck going 10 MPH under the limit decides to pass truck going 10.1 MPH under the limit.” That has to be at least 58% …

  4. #4 Jonathan
    on May 13th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Just the chosen few are nerds…

  5. #5 Karen M.
    on May 13th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    These are GREAT!! I particularly love the Final Exam chart. As a student, this is how I often felt.

  6. #6 Sarah
    on May 14th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m going to give the computer expert flowchart to my boss. Maybe it will save me a bit of the troubleshooting I’m always doing for him!

  7. #7 Megan T.
    on May 16th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I have this flowchart as my desktop background at home:

    picture of chart or graph

    It seems to fit the theme.

  8. #8 Rob
    on May 17th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    @all – Sorry! Life has been so busy with yard/garden work and family events that it has crowded out responding to your comments. I’ll do so now.

    @Vikki – I thought you might be one of my readers who would enjoy this post. I agree with you about banker hours and doctor hours.

    @Scoti – I’m glad you’ve stumbled upon my blog and hope you’ll stick around. I plan on doing this as long as I know people are reading and enjoying it. 🙂

    @Hannah Joy – LOL! We had to be on a stretch of interstate recently and your comment came to mind as we were among the hostages of two slow-moving trucks jockeying for supremacy.

    @Jonathan – Are you among us “chosen few?” 😉

    @Karen – I can identify with both the student’s and the teacher’s perspective. As a teacher I’m dismayed that my students sometimes do not study and master specific material that, when we’ve gone over it I say, “Learn this, just in case it WILL be on the exam.”

    @Sarah – Let us know what your boss says about the chart….

    @Megan – Thanks for that flowchart. It’s a good one, and I’m happy to post it as part of your comment.

  9. #9 Laura
    on May 17th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    THANK YOU for this post!!! It made me day.

  10. #10 Meghana
    on May 18th, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I love it.. This is just the break I am looking for I guess. I read all your blogs. Thanks for all the good work.

    My favorites are you poor idiot flow chart and Tupperware venn diagram 🙂

  11. #11 Carrie
    on May 30th, 2010 at 1:18 am

    I love Megan’s flow chart too! Thanks for the laughs!