32271 - Organizing data in tables and charts: Criteria for...

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Unformatted text preview: Organizing data in tables and charts: Criteria for effective presentation Jane E. Miller, Ph.D. Rutgers University About the author Author: The Chicago Guide to Writing about Multivariate (Chicago, 2005) and The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers (Chicago, 2004), and other articles about statistical literacy and quantitative c . Professor, Rutgers University Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Res Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Po Learning objectives To learn the different types of variables and how they affect choices for organizing data. To become aware of different principles for organizing variables in tables or charts. To learn the strengths and weaknesses of tables, charts, and prose for organizing and conveying numeric information. Performance objectives To be able to choose among different criteria for organizing data for a particular task. To be able to identify whether to use a table or chart to present data for a specific objective. To understand how to write a prose description to coordinate with a table or chart. Why does order of variables matter? The arrangement of items in a table or chart should coordinate with order they are mentioned in the prose description. Avoid zigzagging back and forth across a chart or among rows and columns of a table. Usually describe a pattern based on observed numeric values, e.g., most to least common. Often a hypothesis includes some theoretical basis of how items relate to one another. Ordinal and continuous variables Values of ordinal, interval, and ratio variables have an inherent numeric order. E.g., age groups, dates, blood pressure. Numeric or chronological order of values is the principle for organizing those values in a table or chart. Nominal variables Values of nominal variables have no inherent numeric order....
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2012 for the course STAT 312 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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32271 - Organizing data in tables and charts: Criteria for...

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