After much head scratching the IMU began to spew forth loads of relevant data!
when the sensor is shook in only the x direction you can observe the waveform in the red data stream, when it is shook in only the y direction you can observe the waveform in the green data stream, and when shook in the z direction there is a waveform in the blue data stream.
The baudrate for communication between the arduino and python was set at 115200 bits per second, and this caused an accumulation of lag in the data.
Resetting the baud rate to 4800 eliminated the lag.
The arduino code correlated pins to the accelerometer data incorrectly. It was searching for data on pins 1-5 while the data was being fed out on pins 0-4.
Reassign the pin numbers to the correct variables on the arduino.
The signal is choppy if the wires aren't connected to the board in a specific way. I think this is due to a poor quality wire connector.
Solder the wires directly to the sensor.