Data Handling


Do you know that the invention of writing started with pictures? That’s right. During the first few centuries, humankind used pictures to convey information. Pictographs are based on the same principle that humans have been using for centuries! Come let us learn more about them.

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A pictograph is the representation of data using images. Pictographs represent the frequency of data while using symbols or images that are relevant to the data. This is one of the simplest ways to represent statistical data. And reading a pictograph is made extremely easy as well. The best way to explain a pictograph is through an example. So let us get started.

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How to make a Pictograph

Let us take an example. We must represent how many TV sets have been sold in the last few years via a pictograph. So we get started

  • Collect Data: First step is obviously collecting the data of the category you want to represent. Collect your data by appropriate means. And then make a list or table of the data. And one time finally review the data.
  • Pick your symbol: Pick a symbol or picture that accurately represents your data. If you are drawing a pictograph to represent TV sets sold then a symbol of a basketball would be highly confusing! So pick your symbol carefully.
  • Assign a Key: Sometimes the frequency of the data is too high. Then one symbol cannot represent one frequency. You must set a numerical value that one symbol will represent. This numerical value must be written along with the pictograph. Example one symbol of a TV represents 500 TV sets. This is the key of the pictograph.
  • Draw the pictograph: Final step is drawing your pictograph. Draw the two columns that represent the category and the data. Then draw the actual symbols that represent the frequencies. Remember that the symbols can be drawn as fractions as well if the frequency is not a whole number.
  • Review your Data: And finally, review your pictograph and make sure it correctly represents the information that you wanted to relay. Don’t forget to check the labelling of your graph.

After you are done drawing the above pictograph it should look something similar to the following picture.

pictographs TV

Advantages of a Pictograph

  • Express a large amount of information or data in a simple form
  • Since they make the use of symbols, pictographs attract attention i,e, it is an attractive way to represent data
  • Pictographs are easy to read since all the information is available at one glance
  • And since pictographs are universally used they do not require a lot of explanation

Learn more about Histograms and Pie Charts.

Solved Example for You

Question 1: The pictograph shows the number of eggs sold by a trader in three days. If the trader still had 115 eggs left after the three days, calculate the number of eggs he had at first.

  1. 187
  2. 425
  3. 415
  4. 98

pictographs eggs

Answer : The correct answer is “C”. Eggs Sold on the three days
Monday : 3 X 25 = 75
Tuesday: 5 X 25 = 125
Wednesday: 4 X 25 = 100
Eggs remaining = 115
Total number of eggs he had = 75 + 125 + 100 + 115 = 415

Question 2:┬áThe line plot below shows how students scored on last week’s math test. How many students scored 95 or higher on the test?

  1. 5 students
  2. 7 students
  3. 11 students
  4. 12 students

scores pictographs

Answer : The correct answer is “D”. It is given that 1 star represents 1 student.
Students getting 95 marks = 7
Students getting 100 marks = 5
Therefore students getting 95 or above = 5 + 7= 12 students

Question 3: What are Pictographs?

Answer: A pictograph refers to the representation of data by making use of images. Pictographs represent the occurrence of data by making use of symbols or images that are pertinent to the data. It is one of the easiest ways to represent statistical data. Moreover, it is very easy to read a pictograph.

Question 4: What is a pictograph key?

Answer: We use a key to identify the number of categories which are present in a graph. We also refer to it as a legend. Thus, a key on a pictograph let us know many each picture stands for.

Question 5: What is the use of pictograph?

Answer: A pictograph makes use of picture symbols to express the meaning of statistical information. We must make use of pictographs cautiously because the graphs may, either unintentionally or on purpose, misrepresent the data. Thus, it is essential to make it visually accurate.

Question 6: What are the advantages of a Pictograph?

Answer: A pictograph helps in expressing a large amount of data in a simpler form. Further, the symbols in them help in attracting attention and gives a smart way of representing data. In fact, they are quite easy to read since you get all the information in one glimpse and do not need a great deal of explanation.

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