Graphing and Analyzing Data

In SkyServer projects or in your own studies, you will often need to make graphs or calculations with data. SkyServer can’t directly analyze data, so you will need to use a graphing program.

In this brief how-to tutorial, you will learn many of the skills required to make graphs and calculations with SkyServer data. The tutorial uses Excel, a spreadsheet program published by Microsoft. We chose to use Excel because it is a commonly used, relatively simple program that can graph and analyze many different types of data.

If you use a plotting program other than Excel, you would follow similar steps to graph and calculate with data. However, the specific steps you would follow would be different. Consult your user’s manual for the software you use.

If you’re looking for a plotting program, there are several available for free download. Two good ones are Open Office (Windows/Mac/Linux) and Sphygmic Spreadsheet (Windows).

To learn how to make basic graphs with Excel, click on any of the links below.

  • Enter data in an Excel chart
  • Open a .csv file
  • Creating a new column from a calculation
  • Selecting data to graph
  • Creating a graph
  • Change the scale of a graph
  • Fitting a curve to data
  • Copying Object IDs into Excel (Important Workaround)