Understand the Basics of Data Interpretation: Know Tips & Tricks

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Data Interpretation is a major part of the Quantitative Aptitude section for any banking exam. You can expect around 5-10 questions or 1-2 sets from this chapter in almost all the bank and insurance prelims exam. In the main exams, this chapter plays a very crucial role. You can expect around 50% of questions from this chapter in the main exams of  IBPS PO, SBI PO, IBPS Clerk, etc.

Let’s discuss some common doubts of students such as “What is Data interpretation?” along with types of data interpretations and tips and tricks to solve various types of data interpretation.

The majority of the questions asked in the Data Interpretation Section are based on the following topics of the Arithmetic Section –

  1. Ratios
  2. Averages
  3. Percentages

If the basics of these topics are clear, attempting DI in the exams becomes comparatively easy.

What is Data Interpretation?

Interpretation is the process of making sense of numerical data that has been collected, analyzed, and presented. Interpreting data is an important critical thinking skill that helps you comprehend textbooks, graphs, and tables

Now, let us go through the types of DI graphs/charts that you may encounter in the exams –

  1. Pie Charts
  2. Line Charts
  3. Bar Graphs
  4. Tabular Charts
  5. Mixed Graphs

Types of Data Interpretation

We shall now have a look at the types of questions that are asked under these Data Interpretation Graphs –

Consider the following data presented in the bar graph –

The percentage of Students who like different sports in two different years is provided in the following graph. The total number of Students is 1000 for both years.

The year 2011 and Year 2012


Now the following types of questions may be asked from this data –

1. Sum or Difference based –

These are the most basic questions that may be asked in a DI set. For instance,

What was the sum of the total number of students who like Badminton and Cricket in both years?

Now for such questions, first find the number of students who like the two sports in the two years –

2011 – Badminton = (12/100) * 1000 = 120

Cricket = (45/100) * 1000 = 450

Total = 570

2012 – Badminton = (20/100) * 1000 = 200

Cricket = (37/100) * 1000 = 370

Total = 570

Sum = 570 + 570 = 1140

You can watch clear your concepts regarding the Data Interpretation chapter in the Bank online coaching.

2. Averages-based Questions –

Average-based questions are very commonly asked in the Data Interpretation sets. For instance,

What is the average number of students who like badminton, cricket, and football in 2011?

Total students who like badminton, cricket and football in 2011 = (12 + 45 + 22) = 79% of 1000

Required average = 790/3

3. Ratio-based question –

Another arithmetic operation-based question that may be asked is Ratio based.

Now, these questions may be asked directly or in combination with the above. For instance,

What is the ratio of the students who like football and tennis in 2011 and those who like volleyball and squash in 2012?

Students who like football and tennis in 2011= (22 + 4) = 26% of 1000

Students who like volleyball and squash in 2012 = (10 + 5) = 15% of 1000

Remember for such questions, you do not need to do the entire calculation, because such numbers will eventually cancel out while calculating the ratios.

Required ratio = (26% of 1000) : (15% of 1000) = 26 : 15

You can check other quantitative Aptitude study materials here:




Simplification & Approximation


Calculation Short Tricks


D.I Basics


Number series


Quadratic Equation


Simple Interest


Compound Interest


Mixture & Alligation






Pipes & Cisterns


Age-based problems


Profit, Loss & Discount


Ratio & Proportion


Time, Speed & Distance


Time & Work



4. Percentage-based question –

These are yet other arithmetic problems that are usually asked in DI questions.

These problems again may be asked individually or in combination with the sum or difference-based problems. For instance,

The students who liked badminton and squash in 2011 are what percent of the students who like football and swimming in 2011?

Students who like badminton and squash in 2011 = (12 + 2) = 14% of 1000

Students who like football and swimming in 2011 = (22+7) = 29% of 1000

Here again, do not calculate the entire value.

Required % = (14% of 1000) / (29% of 1000) * 100 = 1400/29%

The same data may be presented in the form of other graphs as well, however, the approach to attempting the questions would remain the same. You may find numbers in place of percentages or vice-versa, so do read the question carefully before proceeding.

Line Graph –

The year 2011 and Year 2012


Tabular Chart –


Pie Chart –



One more variety of questions that may be asked in pie charts is angle-based. For instance,

What is the central angle corresponding to football and volleyball together for 2012?

Angle = (20 + 10)% * 360 = (30/100) * 360 = 108

This chapter can be helpful for the following exams:

S. No.

Name of the exam


SBI Clerk




IBPS Clerk






RBI Assistant


 RBI Grade-B




 SBI Apprentice



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