Traditionally, teaching about data handling and statistics has largely focused on getting pupils to create graphs. Now, however, few graphs are drawn by hand; they are more often created using technology such as spreadsheets. The ease with which graphs can be created means that they are used more frequently and so the emphasis in teaching now needs to focus more on reading and interpreting graphs. In fact, producing graphs is only one part of a five stage data handling cycle that comprises:

identifying and refining a question or issue;

deciding what data to collect and how to collect it;

collecting the data;

presenting the data;

interpreting the data in the light of the original question.