Focus Areas for Data Interpretation – CAT

Focus Areas for Data Interpretation – CAT

Data Interpretation ( DI ) constitutes 16 questions out of 100 questions in an actual CAT paper.

To know more about the pattern of CAT paper  :

How to start with CAT : CAT Pattern and Quick Tips

DI has generally 4 different types of graphs that can be asked in the paper :

  1. Pie Charts
  2. Bar Graphs
  3. Line Graphs
  4. Tables


It is a commonly used method of pictorial data interpretation.These charts show the relationship of parts to the whole. As the central angle of a circle is 360°, the proportion  will be corresponding proportion of 360°. The main use of a pie chart is to show comparison. When items are presented on a pie chart, you can easily see which item is the most popular and which is the least popular.

Example – 


If for a certain quantity of books, the publisher has to pay Rs. 30,600 as printing cost, then what will be amount of royalty to be paid for these books?
A. Rs. 19,450 B. Rs. 21,200
C. Rs. 22,950 D. Rs. 26,150

The correct option is  –  C.


A bar-diagram is essentially a graph converted into and presented in the form of rectangular blocks called as bars. These rectangular blocks have common width and hence are proportional in value as per their lengths.Bar graphs/charts provide a visual presentation of categorical data.Categorical data is a grouping of data into discrete groups, such as months of the year, age group, shoe sizes, and animals. These categories are usually qualitative. In a column bar chart, the categories appear along the horizontal axis; the height of the bar corresponds to the value of each category.


bar graph

What is the approximate ratio of the sales of nail enamels in 2000 to the sales of Talcum powders in 1995?
A. 7:2 B. 5:2
C. 4:3 D. 2:1

The correct option is  –  B.


It is a linear representation of the figures, put on a two-dimensional scale and show a relationship between the figures on the two axes, via x and y. A line chart is often used to visualize a trend in data over intervals of time – a time series – thus the line is often drawn chronologically.




If the expenditure of Company Y in 1997 was Rs. 220 crores, what was its income in 1997 ?
A. Rs. 312 crores B. Rs. 297 crores
C. Rs. 283 crores D. Rs. 275 crores

The correct option is  –  B.


A table is a means of arranging data in rows and columns.It provides an overall view of the situation and help in the process of decision making. Generally, it is easier to process the data in a table having more number of rows than columns.

Example –

Expenditures of a Company (in Lakh Rupees) per Annum Over the given Years.

Year                                                           Item of Expenditure
Salary Fuel and Transport Bonus Interest on Loans Taxes
1998 288 98 3.00 23.4 83
1999 342 112 2.52 32.5 108
2000 324 101 3.84 41.6 74
2001 336 133 3.68 36.4 88
2002 420 142 3.96 49.4 98


The total amount of bonus paid by the company during the given period is approximately what percent of the total amount of salary paid during this period?
A. 0.1% B. 0.5%
C. 1% D. 1.25%

The correct option is  –  C.


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