Everyday maths for Health and Social Care and Education Support 1
Everyday maths for Health and Social Care and Education Support 1

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Everyday maths for Health and Social Care and Education Support 1

3 Pictograms

One very simple way of showing data is in pictograms, which use pictures to count with. Pictograms have a strong visual impact.

As with tables, you need to decide on your title and what each row of the pictogram means. You also need to decide on your key. The key tells your reader what the picture you are using means.

The following pictogram shows the number of ambulances dispatched at different times during the week:

Described image
Figure 5 Ambulances dispatched pictogram

The important thing to remember with pictograms is that there must be a key to tell the reader what the picture means. In the example above, the picture of one ambulance means one ambulance was dispatched. But in the next example, showing the number of children attending a respite care day centre between 2 and 3 p.m. on a Sunday and Monday afternoon, the key is used differently:

Described image
Figure 6 Pictogram showing the number of children at a respite care day centre

Every pictogram needs a key – but this one doesn’t have one! You might think that A stick figure with a head, two arms and two legs. means one child.

In fact, A stick figure with a head, two arms and two legs. means five children, A stick figure with a head, two arms and one leg. means four children and A stick figure with a head, one arm and one leg. means three children.

Now try the following activity. Remember to check your answers once you have completed the questions.

Activity 6: Deciphering a key

Can you work out what A stick figure with a head and one arm. and A stick figure with a head. mean?

Answer

A stick figure with a head and one arm. means two children and A stick figure with a head. means one child.

So the key can be used to show more than one item. This could be done to make the drawing of the pictogram easier when working with bigger numbers.

It is important to make sure you understand what the key means so that you can understand the data correctly.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using pictograms. On the one hand, they are easy to understand. On the other hand, however, they can only show a few things.

Activity 7: Creating a pictogram

The following table shows the number of people in the waiting room of a doctor’s surgery at different times of the day:

TimeNumber
9 a.m.4
11 a.m.2
1 p.m.7
3 p.m.1
5 p.m.3

Show this information as a pictogram using the key where A stick figure with a head, two arms and two legs. represents five people.

Answer

Does your pictogram look like the one below?

Described image
Figure 7 GP surgery waiting room pictogram

Summary

In this section you have learned about how to present data in pictograms.

FSM_SSH_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371