Visualizing Data

My created graph

Bar graph visualizing the percentage of students that received in A in each course at UMW for the 2022-2023 school year.
Figure 1. Percentage of students that received in A in each course for the 2022-2023 school year

How I made my graph

My first step to creating my visualized data was to figure out what story I wanted to share. I decided I wanted to try creating a graph that would show what course has been easiest to get an A in for the 2022-2023 school year. The original data I got from the UMW website, my graph I made, and my cleaned up data can be found below Figure 1.

To clean up my data, I made a couple modifications to the original data. If a course had less than 100 students in either semester, that course was removed from the data I used; I did this because I wanted to have less skewed results. For instance, one course could’ve had 2 students that both got an A in the Fall semester and 3 students that got an A in the Spring semester; to say that course was the easiest to get an A in would be a biased inference.

Additionally, the original data separated the students’ grades into A, A-, B+, B, B-, and so on. I decided to use the “Tot. A%” column because I wanted to include anyone who got a 90% or better in their course.

To create my graph, I copied and pasted the columns I wanted into a new spreadsheet and cleaned up the data to make it useable. Then, I created the graph using the Excel chart options. Through Excel’s chart options, I was able to give the graph axis titles, customize the colors, and include a legend for easier understandability.

Inferences made from the graph

My original inference (before I created the graph) was going to be that the course with the highest percentage of A’s for the year was the easiest course, but the result ended up showing nursing courses with the highest percentage of A’s. Based off of my general knowledge of the nursing field and its level of difficulty, I think I can safely assume this inference would be incorrect, so my new inference of this graph is that nursing courses have some of the smartest students.

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