# Create A Graph

Graphs are to numbers as the spoken word is to text.

When you create a graph you summarize a lot of business data. It is like taking that data and creating a little block of understanding from it. Your understanding of that part of your business grows by leaps and bounds, because now you can visualize its meaning. When you can visualize the meaning, you have gained knowledge. It is no longer just a mass of numbers.

## Basic Concepts

The first thing to understand is that data must have at least 2 attributes in order to create a graph with it. An example of this is quantity and time. This might be \$250,000 in sales for 2005. Any unit of quantity or time could be used. Another example might be quantity versus quantity. This would occur in a supply/demand graph.

Another important concept is the x-axis versus the y-axis for line and bar graphs. The x-axis lies along the bottom of the graph from left to right. The y-axis is on the left or right of the graph and goes from bottom to top. Your graph will compare x and y values.

## Different Kinds of Graphs

• Line Graphs - Very handy for seeing the seasonality and/or trends in your data. The downside is you need a lot of data for meaningful graphs.

• Pie Graphs - This form of graph will show you the parts of the whole. So if you have something that has a lot of components, a pie graph will help you visualize how much each component contributes to the whole.

• Bar Graphs - A useful graph when you have smaller amounts of data that you want to visualize. Bar graphs can give you much of the same data conceptualization as line graphs.