GMAT Focus Data Insights by MBA House

GMAT Focus Data Insights: A Comprehensive Section

Table of Contents

The Data Insights portion scrutinizes your ability to analyze diverse forms of data gathered from a myriad of sources in order to make knowledgeable decisions. GMAT Focus Data Insights: A Comprehensive section.

In this section, you’ll encounter five distinct question types: Data Sufficiency, Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis. 

Tackling Data Sufficiency Questions

  • Make sure you distinguish if the problem mandates one fixed value or allows a span of values. Keep in mind: your task is to decide whether the given data is sufficient to resolve the problem, not to actually solve it.
  • Ensure you’re not basing your answers on claimed assumptions from geometric forms. Remember, these figures are not always designed to scale.

Consider a shelf containing 45 books; each book is either written in English or Spanish and is either a hardcover or a paperback. If a book is chosen at random from this assortment, what is the probability that the chosen book will be a Spanish written paperback? Is this probability less than half? To answer, we need to examine two additional pieces of information: 

Statement 1: There are 30 paperback books on the shelf.
Statement 2: There are 15 books written in Spanish on the shelf.

To arrive at a definitive answer to the probability question, we must now evaluate the sufficiency of both statements.

Evaluation: Are these statements individually or combined able to answer the question? Let’s consider: 

a) Statement 1 alone is sufficient, but Statement 2 alone is not sufficient.

b) Statement 2 alone is sufficient, but Statement 1 alone is not sufficient.

c) Both statements together are sufficient, but neither statement alone is sufficient.

d) Each statement alone is sufficient.

e) Statements 1 and 2 together are not sufficient.

This exercise in probability and discernment of data sufficiency demonstrates a key skill set assessed in the GMAT‘s Data Insights section. Remember, the task is to determine the sufficiency of the given data in solving the problem, rather than trying to solve the problem itself.

GMAT Focus Data Insights: A Comprehensive Section:

Approaching Multi-Source Reasoning Questions 

  • You’re not expected to know the material inside out. Any material necessary for answering the questions is provided.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of each data source, as the questions hinge on a deep understanding of the provided data. Written material typically unfolds thoughts progressively, so be attentive to how each statement contributes to the core idea. Graphical components come in diverse forms such as tables, charts, or diagrams.
  • Peruse the questions meticulously, ensuring you grasp what’s being asked. Some may need you to identify contradictions among different data sources, others to deduce implications, and some to determine which source is pertinent.
  • Choose the answer options with the maximum backing from the data. Don’t let your prior knowledge of the subject impact your selection. Choose your answers solely based on the provided information.



RO1, Availability bias:

A large proportion of Swedish taxpayers modified their strategy to be heavily invested in Swedish stocks and the Case Study states that they did so because Swedish stocks had been rising rapidly. In the Cognitive Biases Discussion, availability bias is described as leading investors to focus unduly on recent information—for instance, investors often assume that recent increases in stock values will continue. Therefore, availability bias likely contributed to the taxpayers’ investment decisions that led to the outcome described in the Case Study.

The correct answer is Contributed significantly.

RO2, Home bias:

In the Cognitive Biases Discussion, home bias is characterized as “investors’ tendency to choose a large proportion of investment products from their home nation.” Nothing in the Case Study indicates that Swedish taxpayers chose Swedish stocks because they were stocks from Sweden. Instead, it indicates they chose Swedish stocks because those stocks had been rising. Therefore, home bias did not clearly contribute to the taxpayers’ investment decisions.

The correct answer is Did not contribute significantly/indeterminate.

RO3, Status quo bias:

In the Cognitive Biases Discussion, status quo bias is described as leading “investors to retain current investments out of inertia.” But the Case Study describes investors as changing their investments. Therefore, they acted differently from how status quo bias would have led them to act.

The correct answer is Did not contribute significantly/indeterminate.

Navigating Table Analysis Questions 

  • Inspect the table and corresponding text to discern the kind of information on offer.
  • Examine the question thoroughly to understand the required data analysis and review the available choices by examining the answers.
  • Consider each response as per the specific conditions provided (such as yes/no, true/false). Zone in on whether the specified condition has been fulfilled.

Interpreting Graphics Interpretation Questions 

  • Acquaint yourself with the data contained in the graphic. Note the axis scales, labelled values, and annotations. Be mindful of any inconsistencies between the units in the graph and the text.
  • Read any supplementary text with care. It may contain data not displayed in the graphic but necessary for answering the question.
  • Ensure you comprehend what is being asked of you. You’ll be interpreting and integrating data, discerning relationships, and drawing conclusions from a dataset.
  • Sift through all the options in the drop-down menu. This can give you extra insight into your task.
  • Select the option that best completes the statement. More than one option might seem plausible. However, opt for the one that makes the statement the most accurate or logical.

Understanding Two-Part Analysis Questions 

  • Read the provided information attentively. It may encompass quantitative, verbal, or a blend of both types of content. While all of this material is designed to challenge you, do not let any familiarity with the matter cloud your judgement when answering the question. Ensure to consider only the data that is presented.
  • Identify precisely what the question is asking. Pay special heed to how the question defines the tasks. Sometimes the response column headings lack the precision that could help in comprehending the task better.
  • Inspect all the available answers before opting for the final one. Ascertain if the tasks you’re to perform are dependent or independent. Some questions pose two tasks that could be executed separately whilst others have one task with two linked parts.
  • Bear in mind that a single answer choice could be correct for both slashes. It’s possible that one answer option meets the criteria for both response columns.

GMAT Focus Data Insights: A Comprehensive Section:

Data Sufficiency Questions:

  • Determine if the problem requires a single value or a range of values. Avoid assuming proportions based solely on geometric figures, as they may not be drawn to scale.
  • Focus on assessing whether the provided data is adequate to solve the problem.

Multi-Source Reasoning Questions:

  • Familiarize yourself with the presented material but don’t expect prior knowledge to answer questions. All necessary information is provided.
  • Analyze each data source carefully, including text passages and graphic elements like tables or charts, to understand how they contribute to the main idea.
  • Pay attention to discrepancies among different data sources and use only the provided data to answer questions.

Table Analysis Questions:

  • Understand the type of information conveyed in the table and accompanying text.
  • Carefully read the question to identify the specific analysis required and review available answer choices.
  • Evaluate each answer statement based on specified conditions, focusing on whether they are met or not.

Graphics Interpretation Questions:

  • Study the data presented in the graphic, noting scales, labels, and any discrepancies between the graphic and accompanying text.
  • Read accompanying text thoroughly for additional data needed to answer the question.
  • Interpret data, discern relationships, and make inferences based on the information provided.
  • Consider all options in the drop-down menu for additional insights before choosing the option that best completes the statement.

Two-Part Analysis Questions:

  • Carefully read the information provided, which may cover various topics, and avoid letting prior knowledge influence your response.
  • Understand the tasks described in the question, paying close attention to details in response column headings.
  • Review all answer choices before making a selection, considering whether tasks are dependent or independent.
  • Note that the same answer choice might be correct for both columns, and one option could satisfy conditions for both response columns.