Graphical Presentation Of Tabular Data – Histograms (Part 2 of 5)

This is the second in a series of articles aimed at showing the benefits of presenting tabular data in a graphical format.

The first article explained how to carry out a simple survey which could be completed by children, the results being presented in a tabular form. Although the results could be reorganised to produce tables showing the data in different formats, such as by name in alphabetical order or in ascending order of height, the interpretation of the data is not immediate to the person reading it and conclusions may not be easily drawn. This not only causes difficulties for both the surveyor and the reader, but can be a little discouraging for the surveyor in trying to determine what they have achieved from their efforts.

We therefore need to display the data in an alternative format so that more can be achieved from the data gathered. One way of doing this is to use a graphical representation known as a histogram.

Histogram

A histogram is the best graphical method to use for plotting and displaying continuous data such as height or weight. It is not so good for displaying data known as discrete or discontinuous, where the subject has distinct survey criteria such as hat sizes or colours.

Let us assume that the child’s height survey, already mentioned in article one, consisted of a sample of 25 children all of the same age. The smallest child was 1.105m tall and the tallest height was 1.687m.

The visual representation of data for a histogram is a chart where the data values are represented by vertical columns whose heights are equivalent to each of the values of one of the survey’s criteria and all these vertical heights are proportional to each other. The width of the column is immaterial but is usually the same for each value displayed. It is preferable that the survey data is recorded in ascending order of height so that the smallest child’s height is recorded first.

Using our survey example above, the vertical axis, or as it is more commonly known, the ‘y axis’, would represent the height of each child within the survey and would range from 1.0m to 1.7m in ascending order. All the surveyed height values of 1.105m to 1.687m would be contained within the chart. The horizontal axis, or ‘x axis’, would represent the 25 names of the children in the sample.

For each child’s name a point is plotted on the chart corresponding to the height of the child. A vertical narrow column is then drawn above the child’s name up to the height point. This column can be given its own colour to differentiate it from its neighbours on the chart. All the remaining children’s heights are plotted in a similar way. If two or more children have the same height then the columns are drawn adjacent to each other. This is where using different column colours or patterns makes identification easier.

This simple histogram will be a series of vertical columns, the shortest on the left and the highest on the right. It will be clear from this chart which child is the shortest, which is the tallest and where each child is placed within the survey. It will also show in which height ranges the children’s heights are concentrated. As stated previously, the survey results will be of greater benefit for interpretation if all the children were about the same age or in the same class at school. Different colours could be used for boys and girls to show how their height ranges varied, if at all.

This form of data presentation is more pleasing to the eye and understandable than any of the spreadsheet tables. The person presenting the survey will find their output much more satisfying and should have greater pride in their achievement.

The next article in this series considers the use of vertical column, horizontal bar and cylinder charts. Details will be provided as to when they should be used, how they are constructed and the benefits that they can provide, both to the presenter and their audience.

Is The Logic Part Of The Negotiation Process A Good Thing Or A Bad Thing?

A negotiation is very much like a dance, you make a move and then your move forces the other side to make a move. Once they’ve done that, then their actions force you to take some corresponding action and so on. There is a logic to all of this and where things get interesting is when we start to try to figure out if the role that logic plays is working for us or against us…

Why Logic In A Negotiation Can Be A Bad Thing

Logic – a bad thing? Who would dare to say something like that? It turns out that I would and the reason that I would is pretty simple. If you’ve ever been in a negotiating situation where the other side started to use logic to support their position, you know what I mean.

When you are faced with a negotiating opponent who is prepared and equipped to use logic as one of their negotiation styles, then you’ve got a problem. Negotiations can be difficult enough without having to deal with this kind of challenge.

The reason that you can run into problems when you are confronted with lots of logic during a negotiation is because the other side now has a way to guide you to a conclusion using their logic.

What’s going to happen here is that the other side will make a request and then use logic to explain why they are making the request. It will seem like a reasonable request to you. They will then make another request that flows from the first. Once again they’ll provide the logic that is needed to support this request also.

What will happen here is that you’ll find yourself starting to be guided by the logic of their requests. Before you know what is happening, you’ll be agreeing to their requests and going along with them. The other side will have been able to use logic to gain the advantage in the negotiation and they will now be able to move you towards creating the type of deal that they want.

Why Logic In A Negotiation Can Be A Good Thing

Clearly logic can be a bad thing if the other side starts to use it against you. However, is it possible that logic could be a powerful tool if it was in your hands?

The answer is, of course, yes. In any principled negotiation you should plan on using logic as one of your tools. The trick to getting the most out of logic as a tool is that you need to be able to prepare to use it in a negotiation before the negotiations begin.

I tend to believe that logic should be included in any negotiation definition. The reason is that as you are planning how you want your next negotiation to proceed, creating a sequence of arguments based on logic can provide you with the negotiating framework that can help you to close a deal.

What you are going to want to do is to include logic in your preparation for the negotiation. This means that you’ll need to lay out a sequence of proposals that you’ll want to make of the other side. You’ll then have to create a logical framework for why you are making that proposal. Your goal will be to get the other side of the table to agree to your proposal based on your logic.

If you can do this, then your next proposal should be based off of the agreement that you’ve been able to reach on the first proposal. By doing this you can use logic to guide the other side to the conclusion that you want to reach. Once they start to agree with you, logic will make it very difficult for them to stop agreeing!

What All Of This Means For You

Negotiating can be hard work. We’ve all been taught that logic is a good thing and so as a negotiator you’d think that using logic as a part of your negotiating techniques could only be a good thing, right?

It turns out that logic is a slippery beast. During a negotiation if the other side of the table starts to use logic against you, you may quickly find yourself in trouble. The reason for this is that logic is a well-defined series of conclusions that may lead you to a result that is not what you wanted to get out of the negotiations. On the other hand, if you construct a series of logical arguments that support your position, the other side may find it hard to object to your requests.

Logic is a powerful tool. The next time that you are in a negotiation make sure that you keep your eyes open in order to quickly determine if the other side is preparing to use logic against you. No matter what they do, you should always be ready to use logic to support your negotiating positions.

Some Unique Ways To Present Casual Baby Shower Gifts

So there’s a new addition coming near soon! Even if you are not related to the happy expecting couple, you may still be invited to the baby shower and asked to bring a nice baby shower gift for the little one. Giving a baby shower gift is a great way to express love and care for the baby. Choosing from a line of so many cute baby items is an exciting and fun task. Even if it’s a bit tricky to decide which one to buy, but still everyone gets to smile as they look at adorable tiny pieces for a precious little one.

What makes shopping for baby gifts more fun and easy these days is the Internet. Now that there are thousands of suppliers which have incorporated online shops into their business, people can easily find and purchase the things they need without going anywhere out of comfort. Online shops usually have different lists of products and services on their web pages. People can easily browse online catalogs along with the prices and promos, if they have. Another benefit of shopping online is that anyone can shop anytime of the day. It’s a 24/7 shopping experience for savvy shoppers who prefer buying online than buying at a local store or mall.

When it comes to baby shower gifts, there are so many online shops that offer a wide variety of wonderful baby items to choose from. With the endless options of baby gift ideas, it can be a challenge to choose one. It is always a great idea to go for baby gifts that are useful and practical. Casual baby gifts such as clothing, blankets, bibs, diapers, baby bottles, and toys can turn out to be the most unique at the shower with just a bit effort and creativity.

There are several unique ways to present casual baby shower gifts. For someone who wants to offer an extraordinary present out of casual baby items, there’s no need to worry about because it is not something that is impossible to do. In fact, there are easy ways to make common gifts unique at the end of the day.

One unique way to present casual baby clothing is to have the clothes embroidered with the name or initials of the child. Embroidering names or initials doesn’t only limit to clothing because baby blankets, bur cloths, and even bedding can have an embroidered name or initials of the little one.

Engraved baby gifts also make unique presents. Pewter baby gift items are often the most popular to engrave. Baby jewelry are also among the best choices under engraved baby gifts. Casual baby clothing items and accessories can be packaged in a unique way. Through the idea of baby gift baskets, useful and practical goods for babies can be presented with creativity and style. A baby gift basket can contain various cute infant items that may include toys baby bath products, wipes, baby food, feeding supplies, brush set, booties and socks, and other more.