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The power of graphics should not be underestimated. They can express information clearly and simply. This free course, Effective ways of displaying information, will help you to assess which style of graphic to use in different situations.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- understand the value of graphics as visual thinking tools;
- give examples of relevant graphics used in the business context.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Graphs, charts and matrices
- 2 Diagrammatic representations
- 2.1 Force-field diagrams
- 2.2 Input-output diagrams
- 2.3 Influence diagrams
- 2.4 Systems thinking
- 2.5 Fishbone diagram
- 2.6 Mind mapping
- 2.7 Multiple-cause diagrams
- 2.8 Network analysis
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
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Effective ways of displaying information
The value of graphics can hardly be underestimated. Graphs, charts, matrices, tables and diagrams are like pictures: they can ‘speak a thousand words’. They are useful for expressing information clearly and simply, and they can be used as a visual-thinking tool – for yourself and for groups. There are a number of techniques and types, each suited to different tasks. This course covers two groups of devices. The first deals with graphs, charts and matrices; the second covers the kinds of diagrams that are useful for identifying and solving problems. Note that the word ‘data’ is plural (the singular of data is ‘datum’), so you will come across phrases such as ‘these data …’ or ‘data are …’.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 13th July 2011
Last updated on: Thursday, 13th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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