Writing Guide Home Data Collection & Processing  

Raw Data

You should always show raw data as you recorded it during the experiment. That doesn’t mean that you have to provide the sheet you used in class but it should appear as you recorded it but typed.

It must include a title, don’t use “Raw Data” as title.


Time taken for leaf discs to rise

Leaf disc
Time (min : s ± 1 s)
3 : 20
4 : 32
4 : 43
8 : 02
12 : 45

Make a sign such as "* " next to data that you consider to be anomalous and write a key under the table, example: " * represents anomalous data "

Make a note of anything else that happens in the experiment that isn’t the quantitative data you are supposed to collect. Observations are called qualitative data, they must be recorded and shown under the raw data table.

If applicable and useful, include illustrations or diagrams you did during the experiment.

Processed Data

Processed data is when you have started to manipulate the data you have recorded. This includes basic steps like converting minutes and seconds when you recorded time into one unit such as minutes which would then be expressed as a decimal.

Example based on the raw data table:

Time taken for leaf discs to rise

Leaf disc
Time (min ± 0.02 min)
1.28 x 101

Now for example you can work out the rate as time is measured in only one unit.

If you are just modifying units and drawing a table like this example, don’t forget to continue indicating the anomalous data.

Do not include any data that you consider to be anomalous in calculations.

Process your data in any way that is suitable, such as the t-test which would be used to compare the effect of changing the independent variable.

Whenever you process data in a mathematical way, you should always show how you have done it. If you use a formula for example, give the formula and an example. This includes simple things like doing the mean and more complex things like a t-test.

When you convert data, it is not necessary to show how you have done it though as you have not applied a formula to it. This would include time measured in minutes and seconds converted to minutes only or when metres are converted to centimetres.

You should show and explain how you obtained the uncertainty for you calculated data.

Please bear in mind though that plotting raw data without any other processing does not constitute data processing.

Some experiments yield data that you will not be able to graph.

Presenting your processed data includes the quality and clarity of your tables as well as graphs.