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Effective ways of displaying information


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This unit is from our archive and it is an adapted extract from The Manager's Good Study Guide (GSG) which is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this curriculum area. [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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 unit 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 …’.