We are surrounded by numbers. You can find them not only in mathematics lessons, but also on billboards, in newspapers, in magazines, on the radio or on television – numbers are everywhere and are often presented using a diagram or infographic to better convey their meaning. Infographics have the great advantage that they allow us to quickly grasp the importance of complex calculations and statistics.

Above all, they are a very meaningful tool to efficiently present studies or research for school or study. Even in the professional environment, project developments, products or services are presented using infographics.

“Understanding Numbers” teaches you how to easily use infographics to collect, process, and present data in a dynamic image – not just in mathematics or statistics, but also in using information in history , Geography, physics etc. want to introduce.

Not only does this chapter help you deliver better presentations at school, at university, or at work, but it also helps you to better understand the world around you. Media, telephone rate, health, income, or policy statistics provide you with important information about the latest developments in our society.

“Understanding Numbers” teaches you how to plot data using charts and infographics for better use in oral exams or presentations.

Each chapter is divided into 5 steps:

Discover: Theoretical explanations / basic knowledge

Learning: examples that show you how to interpret and create a diagram / infographic

Practicing: Examples of how to apply and practice what you have learned Review: Materials that you can use to review yourself and your progress

Resources: List of links with more information about each chapter

You can either go through each chapter of “Understanding Numbers” in turn, or start with the chapter that interests you the most.

A diagram is a graphical representation of a topic and shows numeric values, usually in lines or bars. Most of the time a diagram shows something that we can count. We could count the number of red and blue cars on the road and graph our results. Another example would be the total area of the rainforest in hectares.

Or the rainy days of a week.

Or our income or pocket money and what we spend it on.

A diagram shows the relationship between properties (2 or more)

Help a line, curve, bar or other symbols. Normally there is a horizontal line (x-axis) showing an independent variable and a vertical line (y-axis) representing a dependent variable.

Do not forget:

There are many different types of charts.

In general, diagrams are used for various purposes. Which type of chart you take depends on what you want to show.

Learning – Different types of charts and 3 steps to choose the one that best suits you

Different types of charts

There are different types of charts. To understand a diagram, you should first review some expressions to understand what the diagram shows:

A comparison is made to show differences and similarities.

A contrast is the difference between 2 pieces of information. Normally you need a contrast to show differences.

A share is part or excerpt. It is related to other parts or parts of a whole. Normally, the base is 100% and the parts make up 1 whole, so 100%.

A trend is a pattern by which we can predict a future development.

Development is a process of change or transformation.

Scatter is used to measure the central slope of information (for example, using a median)

It all sounds very mathematical.

3.3 Practice – 3 steps to choose the right chart for your data

The following exercises are about selecting the most appropriate diagram to represent the data in the exercises. If necessary, read the information about the different types of diagrams in the “Learning” section again, choose from the suggested answers and click “Solution” to get an explanation and the right answer.

Remember to apply the 3 steps:

Step 1: Look at the headline, words and pictures. What does this overview show?

Step 2: Look at the numbers. What do you say?

Step 3: Choose a type of chart that fits the data. Which diagram would you use to best illustrate the example?


Discover – How to select and download a software

Once you’ve decided on a kind of chart, it’s time to make that chart.

Creating charts is best done with calculation software. You can definitely use Microsoft Excel, but there are many alternatives if you do not want that. Let’s start:

a. Choose a software you want to work with.

b. Download and save it.

c. Try them!

Here you will find helpful links to freeware. Read through them and look at examples on the websites. Maybe a friend or a teacher can give you a tip as to which program suits you. To find a suitable program that you like, you may have to try a few. It’s like in real life: you have to try something before you know if it fits. Follow your feelings and try one!


Discover – What are infographics and what programs can you use to create them?

Sometimes charts are difficult to understand because they contain a huge amount of numbers or information. It’s also difficult to get an overview or not fall asleep if you get 10 different graphs in succession. You know that feeling for sure.

That’s why infographics are a great tool to illustrate your data.

What are infographics?

Infographics are visual representations of tables, data, information, behaviors, and events. They have the advantage of being able to present complex data and mathematical functions in a way that is easier to understand. You can graphically highlight relationships between points and variables that may be difficult to understand using words or charts.

Infographics represent the content in a creative way and combine words, numbers, photos, illustrations, graphics and videos. They can create a better understanding, and for that reason they are often used for marketing and advertising.

At school or at university, infographics can be used to highlight important data in presentations.

What tools can I use to create infographics?

Everyone can create simple infographics. You can use normal tools like PowerPoint for that. Quite often, such programs are included in the most common software packages and easy to use.

We recommend PowerPoint because as a student you will not want to spend a lot of money to download a useful infographic software.

• It is included in the Microsoft Office package.

• It is very easy to use.

• Since you probably need it anyway for presentations, you can try it right now.

But there are also great tools on the Internet. However, you have to pay for most of these applications, but there are also free or limited versions. Use a search engine, eg. Google, and search for “infographic software” to see which ones are offered and which ones are best for you.