Numerical Interpretation

The ability to understand and extract appropriate meaning from numerical information

Behavioural indicators include:-

  • Clarify the purpose of the interpretation.
  • Understand where the numbers originated and why.
  • Explain the sources of the data.
  • Extract relevant information.
  • Use mathematical concepts e.g. ratio, percentages, appropriately.
  • Understand information presented graphically or diagrammatically e.g. pie chart.
  • Identify the volume of information required for validity.
  • Make effective use of various tools and techniques appropriate to the purpose e.g. Excel in order to make the data user friendly.
  • Identify trends and patterns for the purposes of prediction, conclusion or action.
  • Identify anomalies in the data.
  • Interpret and re-interpret the data as necessary.
  • Analyse and draw correct conclusions.
  • Communicate the meaning of the numerical information verbally.
  • Summarise the information whilst maintaining its meaning.
  • Link the numerical information to the 'bigger picture'.

Do I Have This Skill?

You'll need to be able to prove to employers that you actually have the skills they want for the job. In applications and interviews they will ask 'competency questions' that begin with phrases such as 'tell me a time when ............. ' or 'give me an example of .............. ' Your answers are the evidence that you have what it takes.

To find out how well developed your skills are already you could try this simple exercise:

Rate yourself on each of the behaviours:

  • 1 = I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it
  • 2 = I am good at this. With some practice I can make it perfect!
  • 3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.
  • 4 = I am not particularly good at this - yet!

Revisit this exercise several times through your years of study - you'll want to have as many skills as possible at 1 and 2 before you apply for graduate jobs.

And, think about all the life situations you've been in - university, work, leisure, travel, social - and identify incidents and examples from them that show that you have already used the skill.