What can we do with the data?

When we have data collected we usually want to present it to others in a quick and easy-to-see form. What are you going to do with yours?
Maybe you would like to make a pie chart that shows the total percentages of herbivores, omnivores, and piscivores recorded on your data sheet. Here's what to do:
1. If you haven't already totaled the 4th column on your data sheet, do so now. You need to add together all percentages in column four that have an "H" in column three. Write that number down and then repeat for "O" and "P".
2. Now you should have three numbers that equal 100% when added together. If not, redo all of your mathematical calculations...including the computation of column four percentages from column two totals (see instructions at bottom of data sheet).
3. Use a protractor to help you draw a circle on a clean sheet of paper. How many degrees are in a complete circle? I hope that you said 360!
4. On a separate sheet of paper multiply each of your three percentages by 360 degrees. This will give you the number of degrees that each diet type should occupy in the pie graph.
example: H = 25%, O = 35%, P = 40% (25%= .25, 35%= .35, 40%= .40)
.25 x 360 degrees = 90 degrees
.35 x 360 degrees = 126 degrees
.40 x 360 degrees = 144 degrees
5. Now use the protractor to measure out the three sections of your pie graph according to the degrees calculated in step 4.
6. Be sure to label each section neatly and give your chart an appropriate title.
Note: the values given in these example graphs are NOT real! They are only to illustrate how to make the graphs. You will have to determine the real results yourself!
Instead of using a pie chart, you might decide to share your data using a bar graph. You could choose to graph the percentages of the three diet types (see the first example below), or you could graph the numbers or percentages by species (see the second example below). Be sure to be neat, give your graph a title, and label both axies. Here is an example of a bar graph.
Perhaps you are comparing data from two different locations or fish counts, such as a freshwater lake compared to the coral reef. If you are comparing the data from two different locations or fish counts, you might use a split bar graph, such as the example below.
Whatever means you use to summarize and illustrate your results, just remember that science is not useful unless we communicate our findings to others. Be sure to share what you have found.
Thanks for participating in our Coral Reef Fish Count!