Posts tagged data visualization
7th grade students have thrown down an internal challenge! Our spreadsheet work is getting more complex – we’ve recently added a few new formulas to our toolbox:
Create a spreadsheet that can accept 10 two-digit numbers and automatically generate a stem & leaf plot.
- you must be able to explain each of your formulas and how they work together
- random two-digit numbers will be entered into your final product by the teacher
Successful implementation earns the author a free pass on the spreadsheet quiz we’ll be taking next Wednesday in class.
7th grade students continued their exploration of spreadsheets this week by linking functionality with the graphs they have been learning about in math class and the data they’ve been collecting in GO (GreenLake Outdoors).
Spreadsheets are great because they can store data in a table and then create a visual display that allows us to understand the information quickly. Data visualization takes advantage of our ability to process pre-attentively, without the need to understand language.
A quick trick to remember the difference between rows and columns: columns hold up buildings, they go up and down, whereas you row row row a boat to move forward and backwards.
A few new functions that were discussed this week:
- =sort(Range) | This will take a range of data and organize it in order, ascending or descending
- =filter(Range, condition) | This will only return the data that matches a specific condition
- =frequency(Range, criteria) | This will group data according to pre-set rules – great for stem & leaf plots
We also spent some time talking about where data comes from. Primary sources are usually preferable, just as you would want to check any Wikipedia entry references to make sure the data is accurate. We all spent some time on data.gov and data.seattle.gov, using the SMARTboard to find data sets that were interesting.
For students interested in knowing more about data visualization, check out this most excellent film:
The last 7th grade class was a note-taking day, and an intro to spreadsheets. Based on our current knowledge of the similarities and differences between Microsoft Word and Google Documents, we made some assumptions about the quality and ease of use of the free online offering. We tested in individual files and didn’t run into any issues with loading or overwriting.
Notes are below:
Google Spreadsheets is an alternative for Microsoft Excel. Google’s offering is free but you may be subjected to advertisements and you may lose your file if the company has server issues or changes their business model. Microsoft offers more advanced functions, but there are so many options that it can be confusing to learn at first.
Spreadsheet – a table that stores information (data) and can display data in different ways (information graphics)
information graphic – an image that allows us to understand data quickly. Info graphics take advantage of the human ability to make visual comparisons and don’t rely heavily on written language.
Data visualization – the process of making information graphics. Making perceptual meaning out of information.
Header row – first row in a table or database that defines the data below it (columns)
Parts of a formula:
=: tells the spreadsheet to perform a function
function: tells spreadsheet to do something with a range of data
range: a series of data
criteria: a condition that must be met for something else to happen
example: =SUM(B2:B8) | This will add all the data from the second column in rows 2 to 8 (answer from below spreadsheet is 24).
example: =COUNTIF(B2:B8, “<4″) | This will count the number of times that a data range meets the criteria (answer from below spreadsheet is 5).
example: =TODAY() | This returns today’s date, with “today” meaning whatever day the spreadsheet is opened. No range is required.