Cumulative Tables and Graphs

Cumulative

Cumulative means "how much so far".

Think of the word "accumulate" which means to gather together.

To have cumulative totals, just add up the values as you go.

Example: Jamie has earned this much in the last 6 months:

MonthEarned
March$120
April$50
May$110
June$100
July$50
August$20

To work out the cumulative totals, just add up as you go.

The first line is easy, the total earned so far is the same as Jamie earned that month:

MonthEarnedCumulative
March$120$120

 

But for April, the total earned so far is $120 + $50 = $170 :

MonthEarnedCumulative
March$120$120
April$50$170

 

And for May we continue to add up: $170 + $110 = $280

MonthEarnedCumulative
March$120$120
April$50$170
May$110$280

 

Do you see how we add this month's earnings to the previous month's cumulative total?

Here is the calculation for the rest:

And this is the result

MonthEarnedCumulative
March$120$120
April$50$170
May$110$280
June$100$380
July$50$430
August$20$450

The last cumulative total should match the total of all earnings:

$450 is the last cumulative total ...
... it is also the total of all earnings:

$120+$50+$110+$100+$50+$20 = $450

So we got it right.

So that's how to do it, add up as you go down the list and you will have cumulative totals.

We could also call it a "Running Total"

Graphs

We can make cumulative graphs, too. Just plot each cumulative total:

MonthEarnedCumulative
March$120$120
April$50$170
May$110$280
June$100$380
July$50$430
August$20$450

Like this:

Cumulative Bar Graph
Cumulative Bar Graph

Or this:

Cumulative Line Graph
Cumulative Line Graph