# Processing data and reporting

To make the data understandable it will need to be processed.

Processing can involve:

- working out percentages
- calculating averages
- drawing a graph.

## Percentages

You can convert totals to a percentage to enable valid comparisons between sets of data. To calculate the germination percentage of radishes in a seed germination test, the following equation could be used.

The percentage germination of lettuce seeds germinating at 10°C will be:

Round to the nearest whole number = 53%

## Finding the average

If a series of data is collected then the data may need to be averaged before any further analysis of the results take place.

Here is an example: the average number of seeds that germinated daily at 10°C.

Add up the number of seeds germinated daily: 0 + 0 + 0 + 2 + 5 + 6 + 8 = 21

Divide by the number days: 7

## Graphs

Every graph should include the following:

- a descriptive title
- it should be large enough to show all the details clearly
- the independent variable on the X-axis (the measurement that changes evenly) well labelled
- the dependant variable on the Y axis
- a cross to show each point on the graph
- a smooth line or curve drawn to fit the points
- axes clearly labelled with units shown in brackets
- an appropriate scale – units on each axes should go up in even steps and be evenly spaced
- a key, if necessary.

## Line graphs

A line graph is used when the data from both variables is continuous. The slope of a line graph can give you information. A steep line shows a faster change.

## A bar graph

A bar graph is used when one set of data is not continuous. It is used to show the difference between two groups of things. When you draw a bar graph, always leave gaps between the bars.

## Reporting

A report needs to include the following:

- the trend or pattern that your results showed
- an explanation of what the results show and why you got these results
- a conclusion linked to the aim and the hypothesis
- an evaluation of the investigation to develop the science ideas related to the investigation and what could be investigated further.

## What's next?

Go to: 4 Example of an investigation.