Using data

By year 9 pupils are expected to be able to use “large datasets”.  Many adults in their jobs have to use large amounts of data, whether on a computer or on paper, and be able to interpret the information quickly.

The format we view the data in usually depends upon where we will be doing the work.  Have a look at the Sports Day Records attached below.  This shows the record times and distances for Sports Day at Y Pant.  This is a useful format for printing so we can use it out on the field.  However in terms of analysing the data it is easier to view it in a spreadsheet.  If you have Microsoft Excel, have a look at spreadsheet.  There are filters along the top (using the table format) and you can use these to find out:

Sports Day Records 2015

Sports Day Records Spreadsheet 2015

  • Which record has stood for the longest period of time? (John Trott and Kevin Jenkins’ records for Shot has not been broken)


  • Who is fastest over 100m? (Mustafa Elsherkisi was the first in school to break the 12 second barrier – but by how much?)


The Guardian Datablog has an archive of some useful (and not so useful) datasets that can be interesting to look at.  They also present daily data for the news.


When children are doing school projects and homework, encourage them to look for data on the internet – or to create surveys to collect their own data.

Often they will be more likely to engage with data when it is about a topic that interests them – and this could be a good way to get them more engaged with maths at home.  Try these:

  • The WRU has tons of data on the website regarding player and team statistics –
  • The WWF has an excellent WildFinder database, presented in a visual format which is fully searchable.
  • Is your child a Minecraft addict?  Apart from the excellent Blockopedia book there is a massive dataset online showing values for all the blocks.
  • Car enthusiasts will always go straight to the back of car magazines and look at the stats on acceleration etc.

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