Interpreting Data - Finding Clusters and Outliers

By Susan LoFranco on Apr 24, 2017

  • Construct a graph or table from given categorical data and compare data categorized in the graph or table.  
  • Reviewing data on a graph along the x/y axes
  • Ensure that student understand the abbreviation "K" stands for thousands - this only pertains to information found in the Clusters and Outliers Graph


  • Graph paper - either bold or raise lined
  • Markers - bold, dark or high contrast, 
  • Dots or other tactile marker for the graph paper. 


  • Review vocabulary with student: clusters (Occuring closely together), line of best fit (LIne of a graph showing the general direction of a group of points) , x-axis, y-axis, scatter plot (a graph where two variables are plotted on the x and y axes), outlier (values that lie outside the other values).
  • Using the attached Identifying Outliers and Cluster Graph review with the student the x and y axis along with the values, clusters, line of best fit, and outliers.    
  • Once the student is confident that they have identified the clusters, outliers and line of best fit the student, using their media of choice, should complete the questions found on the Analyzing Data Education Vs. Income worksheet
  • For additional practice use the Law School Candidates Prep Time Worksheet and the Law School Test Prep Graph for the student to create a Scatter Plot Graph
  • Once the graph has been completed, the student should identify the clusters, outliers, and line of best fit.  
  • Provided the student is confident have them complete the questions found in the Law School Candidates Prep Time Worksheet as part of the assessment.  The student should complete the worksheet using their media of choice.

law school candidateslaw school test prep graphanalyzing the data


interpreting data


  • For the graph exercise in Income vs. Education use whichever graph is best suited to the student; either the graph Identifying Clusters and Outliers or Clusters and Outliers
  • Although there i a specific formula for determining if an outlier is mathematical certainty this lesson only want the students to ascertain that the outlier is decidedly outside the cluster.   

identifying clusters and outliersclusters and outliers

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