What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Organizing Data With Tables and Graphs?

The advantages of using tables and graphs to organize data include easy visualization of statistics, poignant descriptions of data, the provision of a summary of the overall work and the interest people show to graphics over words, according to Texas A&M University. Disadvantages include the technical precision, time and funding resources necessary to create tables and graphs.

The type of data affects the advantages and disadvantages of tables and graphs, explains the University of Syracuse. Tables are useful for data with specific amounts rather than approximations. Tables take viewers longer to comprehend and read due to the structure, and they also do not provide a simplistic method for capturing trends in data. Instead, the viewer must connect the dots between the data.

Graphs are useful for comparison data. Researchers use circle graphs for situations in which it is beneficial to explain how one section of the data impacts the entirety. Bar graphs help explain and provide visualization for trends. Computations for graphs are more difficult, as it involves proportions and percentages. It is also easier to manipulate the data in graph form to make it appear as though the data is askew or reaches a certain conclusion. This occurs when a person places more than one type of data on a single graph, such as the use of different interval levels for each variable.