Data Analysis & Graphs #data #analysis, #analyzing #data, #analyzing #results, #types #of


Data Analysis Graphs

Key Info

  • Review your data. Try to look at the results of your experiment with a critical eye. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Is it complete, or did you forget something?
    • Do you need to collect more data?
    • Did you make any mistakes?
  • Calculate an average for the different trials of your experiment, if appropriate.
  • Make sure to clearly label all tables and graphs. And, include the units of measurement (volts, inches, grams, etc.).
  • Place your independent variable on the x-axis of your graph and the dependent variable on the y-axis .
  • Overview

    Take some time to carefully review all of the data you have collected from your experiment. Use charts and graphs to help you analyze the data and patterns. Did you get the results you had expected? What did you find out from your experiment?

    Really think about what you have discovered and use your data to help you explain why you think certain things happened.

    Calculations and Summarizing Data

    Often, you will need to perform calculations on your raw data in order to get the results from which you will generate a conclusion. A spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel may be a good way to perform such calculations, and then later the spreadsheet can be used to display the results. Be sure to label the rows and columns do not forget to include the units of measurement (grams, centimeters, liters, etc.).

    You should have performed multiple trials of your experiment. Think about the best way to summarize your data. Do you want to calculate the average for each group of trials, or summarize the results in some other way such as ratios, percentages, or error and significance for really advanced students? Or, is it better to display your data as individual data points?

    Do any calculations that are necessary for you to analyze and understand the data from your experiment.

    • Use calculations from known formulas that describe the relationships you are testing. (F = MA. V = IR or E = MC )
    • Pay careful attention because you may need to convert some of your units to do your calculation correctly. All of the units for a measurement should be of the same scale (keep L with L and mL with mL, do not mix L with mL!)


    Graphs are often an excellent way to display your results. In fact, most good science fair projects have at least one graph.

    For any type of graph:

    • Generally, you should place your independent variable on the x-axis of your graph and the dependent variable on the y-axis.
    • Be sure to label the axes of your graph don’t forget to include the units of measurement (grams, centimeters, liters, etc.).
    • If you have more than one set of data, show each series in a different color or symbol and include a legend with clear labels.

    Different types of graphs are appropriate for different experiments. These are just a few of the possible types of graphs:

    A bar graph might be appropriate for comparing different trials or different experimental groups. It also may be a good choice if your independent variable is not numerical. (In Microsoft Excel, generate bar graphs by choosing chart types “Column” or “Bar.”)

    A time-series plot can be used if your dependent variable is numerical and your independent variable is time. (In Microsoft Excel, the “line graph” chart type generates a time series. By default, Excel simply puts a count on the x-axis. To generate a time series plot with your choice of x-axis units, make a separate data column that contains those units next to your dependent variable. Then choose the “XY (scatter)” chart type, with a sub-type that draws a line.)

    An xy-line graph shows the relationship between your dependent and independent variables when both are numerical and the dependent variable is a function of the independent variable. (In Microsoft Excel, choose the “XY (scatter)” chart type, and then choose a sub-type that does draw a line.)

    A scatter plot might be the proper graph if you’re trying to show how two variables may be related to one another. (In Microsoft Excel, choose the “XY (scatter)” chart type, and then choose a sub-type that does not draw a line.)


    Here is a sample Excel spreadsheet (also available as a pdf ) that contains data analysis and a graph.

    Understanding Your Lab Test Results #understanding #lab #results #for #nurses


    Understanding Your Lab Test Results

    When you have cancer it often seems like someone is always taking blood for some kind of test. Blood tests are done to help watch your body’s response to treatment. They can show small changes before problems get serious. Keeping track of your results lets your doctor take action as soon as your blood counts change to help prevent many cancer-related problems and cancer treatment side effects .

    Here are 2 of the most common types of blood tests and what they can tell the doctor about your health: the complete blood count (CBC) and the chemistry panel.

    Some people find it helps to ask for a copy of their lab results and have a member of their cancer care team go over the numbers with them. By getting a copy, you can also see what the normal ranges are for the lab that tested your blood and where your numbers fall within that range.

    Complete blood count (CBC)

    The most common lab test that you’ll have done during treatment is called a complete blood count, or CBC. Blood is made up of water, proteins, nutrients, and living cells. A CBC tells your cancer care team about the cells in your blood. It measures 3 basic types of blood cells:

    • Red blood cells
    • White blood cells
    • Platelets

    Each of these cells has a special purpose. And each can be harmed by cancer and cancer treatments.

    Red blood cells (RBCs)

    RBCs carry oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from the cells in your body. The CBC measures red blood cells in many ways, but the simplest measure is either

    Hemoglobin (Hgb). the part of each RBC that carries iron
    Hematocrit (Hct). the percent of RBCs in the blood

    When the Hgb and Hct values fall too low, it’s called anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh).

    Platelets (Plts)

    Platelets help control bleeding. You may bruise or bleed easily when your platelet levels are low. The risk of bleeding goes up when platelet levels drop below 20,000.

    When your platelet count is low, your health care team may call it thrombocytopenia (throm-bo-SY-tuh-PEEN -e-uh).

    White blood cells (WBCs)

    WBCs fight infection . There are many types of white blood cells and each fights infection in a special way.

    The most important infection-fighting WBC is the neutrophil (NEW-truh-fil). The number doctors look at is called your absolute neutrophil count (ANC). A healthy person has an ANC between 2,500 and 6,000.

    The ANC is found by multiplying the WBC count by the percent of neutrophils in the blood. For instance, if the WBC count is 8,000 and 50% of the WBCs are neutrophils, the ANC is 4,000 (8,000 × 0.50 = 4,000).

    When the ANC drops below 1,000 it is called neutropenia (new-truh-PEEN-e-uh). Your doctor will watch your ANC closely because the risk of infection is much higher when the ANC is below 500.

    Chemistry panel (metabolic profile)

    Another type of blood test looks at blood chemistry. Chemistry panels may also be called by other names, such as metabolic profile or blood chemistry profile. One blood sample can be used to measure many things like:

    • Fats (lipids)
    • Proteins
    • Sugar (glucose)
    • Electrolytes (like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium)
    • Enzymes

    Certain blood chemistry tests can show how well your organs are working. For instance, liver function studies tell your doctor how well your liver is working. Other tests look at how well your kidneys are working. The chemistry panel may also show other problems with body function.

    Some treatments can cause changes in your body’s blood chemistry, such as a drop in the amount of potassium in your blood. Your blood chemistry balance can also be changed by dehydration (not enough fluid in the body), which may be caused by nausea. vomiting, or diarrhea. Your doctor will do blood chemistry tests if there’s concern that you may have any of these problems.

    If the tests show that certain electrolytes are too low, your doctor may decide to replace them. If the tests show you are dehydrated, you may be given intravenous (IV) fluids. It’s important to get the tests your doctor wants because most of the time you won’t have any symptoms until one or more blood chemistry values are dangerously low or high.

    How to find normal values

    Each lab has its own range for what it considers normal values for complete blood counts and chemistry panel results. What’s normal for one lab might not quite be normal for another, so it’s important to know what your lab’s normal range is when looking at your results. Normal ranges for some tests also vary by age and gender. As a rule, the normal ranges are printed on the lab report, next to your test results.

    Common terms and numbers you may see on a CBC report and what they mean are on this chart:

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