For charts and graphs interpretation it is extremely important for you to follow a structured approach on how you scan and analyze information. A quick two-step approach commonly used by consultants is:
1. Extract (What information can you find in the chart? What information can you use to solve your problem? Does the information help you solve your problem?)
2. Apply (What is the key message/s the chart is trying to tell you? Use this information to figure out your next steps!)
Make sure to practice a lot on different types of graphs (column, bar, pie, line, bubble, scatter plot, spider, waterfall, and many other types of charts). This will ensure that you understand the structure of all the different types of graphs out there and you will know how to approach it in a quick and structured manner. A very typical exercise in consulting interviews is: "Here is chart X, tell me what it says about the company/industry. You have 10 seconds." In order to be efficient at analyzing data in such a fast manner, you have to know where to look and what information you are looking for.
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