by Alex Gilliam No Comments

Challenge #9 | Making Sense Of The Data That You’ve Gathered

Time: 60 minutes
Materials Needed: (lined paper, a pencil, a ruler) OR (Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheets), your site-visit sheets from at least three visits

Gathering data is one thing, being able to interpret and then potentially act on the data that you have gathered is truly powerful. Sometimes powerful digital tools are necessary to interpret a data set because the set is so big or the information is so complicated to understand. However, in many cases free digital tools such as Google Docs spreadsheets or even a piece of lined paper and a pencil will allow you to make sense of the information that you’ve gathered and do something with it.

Today your challenge is to interpret some of the data that you have gathered and share what you have learned. How are you going to do this?

1. Gather your site visit sheets from your last three to five visits.

2. Choose three to five ‘data sets’ from your site survey form. For example, one data set should be, ‘Rate The Level Of Debris At The Site’. Another might be Soil Moisture.

3. Review the data that you have collected for each particular ‘data set’ over the past three to five times that you have visited the site.

4. Using one piece of lined paper or a digital spreadsheet program, graph each of your data sets (on the same graph).

5. Do you see any patterns or connections? Between the different data sets?

6. Write a brief Journal post describing the connections or lack-there-of that you realize when you graph your data sets.

You know your job is complete when…..

You have completed steps 1 through 6, done your very best graph, taken a photograph of your graph or a screen shot of your digital graph and uploaded it to the website in the Journal section, and written a short journal entry about any connections / patterns you noticed. Be sure to include your named. If you are having trouble writing a Journal post or uploading your files to the Journal, please email your graph and a description of any patterns / connections you noticed to swredrexel@gmail.com.

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