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Business Communication Chapter 10 Managing Data and Using Graphics Communicating Quantitative Information Before data can be communicated usefully, it must be classified, organized, condensed and summarized in some sort of table to enable analysis.

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business communication chapter 10

Business CommunicationChapter 10

Managing Data and Using Graphics

communicating quantitative information
Communicating Quantitative Information
  • Before data can be communicated usefully, it must be classified, organized, condensed and summarized in some sort of table to enable analysis.
  • Then appropriate graphics can be selected to convey the patterns and correlations you discover in the data.
  • “Yes Martha, a picture really is worth a thousand words!”
using graphics
Using Graphics
  • Your objective is to efficiently and effectively communicate information. Keep you message simple, clear and direct. Don’t confuse viewers with fancy, complex graphics!
  • Used properly, graphics simplify, clarify and reinforce date, enabling viewers to grasp it quickly and accurately.
determining whether graphics are necessary
Determining Whether Graphics are Necessary
  • Can the material be adequately conveyed in words alone?
  • Do the words and the graphics reinforce one another or do the graphics just get in the way? Avoid “chartjunk” that buries important information under decorative graphics rather than reinforcing and revealing it.
using graphics5
Using Graphics
  • Use a clear, clean, simple design that makes the data very legible and is consistent throughout the presentation.
  • Make sure the graphic is honest. For example, don’t use exaggerated scales that distort or skew information. Does Mr. Picture match Mr. Word?

> Table: lists exact numbers

> Bar Chart: compares quantities

> Line Chart: shows change over time

> Pie Chart: shows portion distribution

> Flow Chart: illustrates process or organization

using graphics6
Using Graphics
  • Accompanying words should summarize the graphic and draw the most important conclusion(s) from it, not simply restate the data it shows.
  • 35 percent of respondents are pleased with the rate of return from online investing; 12 percent are not pleased; 31 percent don’t invest online; 8 percent use only a broker, and 15 percent don’t invest at all.
  • More than one-third of respondents are pleased with their rate of return from online investing. (the primary point)
using graphics7
Using Graphics
  • Label each graphic with “Figure” and number them consecutively through the presentation for easy reference.
  • Give each a short, but revealing, title.
  • Label columns in tables clearly.
  • Document the source of data in the graphic at the bottom of the slide.
  • Show your graphics to someone who has not seen them to check for clarity and effectiveness.
bar charts
Bar Charts
  • Bar charts can be laid out horizontally or vertically.
  • Begin the quantitative axis at zero, use equal increments, and make the bars equal width.
  • Pictographs (little symbols of an object such as a tree) can be used in place of bars to compare quantity or other properties.
  • Use color to differentiate bars when they represent different data.
line charts
Line Charts
  • Use line charts to illustrate changed in quantitative data over time and depict trends.
  • Use the vertical axis for amount and the horizontal axis for time.
  • Begin the vertical axis at zero.
  • Divide both vertical and horizontal axes into equal increments.
  • Useful variations include multiple line and surface charts (see textbook page 350).
pie charts
Pie Charts
  • Use pie charts to display how parts of a whole are distributed.
  • Position the largest slice at the noon slot.
  • Label each with “what” and “how much.”
  • To emphasize a particular slice, use a specially vibrant color or pull it out and display it next to the pie.
using graphics in texts
Using Graphics in Texts
  • When incorporating a graphic into text, precede it with a brief introductory statement highlighting its most significant message.

“As shown in Figure 1, about two-thirds of consumers prefer to shop in suburban areas rather than the city.”

  • Place the graphic as close as possible to the introduction.