Information and data come with different shades of meanings and degrees of complexity. Some forms of data require a higher level of understand and therefore tend to be more complex and abstract. Hence the important of visual aids in facilitating the communication of complex messages.
Graphs and charts are two examples of popular constructs we use to visualize interconnections and simplify meanings (concept mapping tools are also equally important). As teachers and educators, we often have recourse to these visual aids to help us communicate in a more effective and comprehensible way. Graphs and charts are also great for turning dense information into digestible visuals.
What are graphs and charts?
Graphs and charts are visual representations of data. They are basically used to capture the interrelatedness of the elements making up a set of data. However, graphs are different from charts and each one of them is used to represent a particular genre of data.
According to Indeed, ‘charts are tables, diagrams or pictures that organize large amounts of data clearly and concisely. People use charts to interpret current data and make predictions. Graphs, however, focus on raw data and show trends over time.’
Graphs come in various types including:
Line graphBar graphPictographHistogramArea graphScatter plot
Some popular types of charts include:
FlowchartPie ChartGantt chartWaterfall chartGauge chartFunnel chartBullet chart
There are actually a wide variety of web tools that you can use to easily create graphs and charts, below are some of the best graphs, charts, and diagram creation tools out there.
Visme lets create engaging charts and infographics without the need for any coding knowledge. Visme’s graph maker enable you to create over 30 charts and diagrams. It offers various editable templates, live data integration and interactive graph capabilities. Created graphs and charts can be easily downloaded and shared with others.
Venngage offers a wide range fo ready-made diagram templates to help you communicate complex ideas in clear and concise ways. These templates include flowcharts, organizational charts, Gantt chart, tree, Fishbone, Venn Diagram, Wireframe, Site Map, and more.
Canva is another of my favourite tools for creating infographics and visuals of all sorts. Canva also offers a huge library of pre-made templates for creating graphs and charts. To access these resources, head over to Canva and type in the search bar ‘graph’. Some of the graph and chart templates Canva offer include: Doughnut chart, Venn Diagram, T-chart, Pie Char, Comparison chart, strategy map, SWOT analysis, Cycle diagram, and many more.
Infogram is a great tool I have been using for creating infographics. Infogram allows you to create more than 30 chart types. Anything from bubble charts and treemaps to simple pie charts.
This is another graph and chart creation tool. LucidChart has a very simple interface which allows you to drag and drop elements to create your charts. LucidChart is also available for Google Apps and can be used offline.
Hohli Online Chart Builder allows you to easily create a variety of charts. The chart types it offers include: Bar charts, Lines, Pie Charts, Venn Diagrams, Scatter plots, and Radar charts. The process to create your chart is very easy: Select the chart type you like, customize its size, select a background for it, provide the data and there you go.
Types of graphs and charts (Indeed)