Effective Tables and Charts

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# Effective Tables and Charts - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Effective Tables and Charts. Important Elements of Graphic Presentation of Data Rena Cheskis-Gold. Part I. Charting Data. Basic Table. Bar Charts. Quickly compare one category to another. Pie Charts. Less flexible than bar charts. Must include all categories and add to 100\% .

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### Effective Tables and Charts

Important Elements of Graphic Presentation

of Data

Rena Cheskis-Gold

### Part I. Charting Data

Basic Table

Bar Charts
• Quickly compare one category to another.

Pie Charts
• Less flexible than bar charts.
• Must include all categories and add to 100%.

Bar charts are useful for more complex comparisons.

Comparing Distributions:Males to Females

Comparing Divisions

Time Plots

Cumulative Time Plot

Box Plots
• To Summarize Large Amounts of Information

### Part II. Statistical Thinking

When to chart or not?

1. Enough variation to chart?

2. Makes sense to chart?

3. Interesting enough to chart?

4. Precise enough to chart?

5. Enough information to draw a conclusion?

6. Is a chart the best way?

Is there enough variation to warrant a chart?

Will the comparison make sense if charted?

Are the data interesting enough to chart?

Are the data precise enough to chart?

Is a chart the best way to display these data?

### Part III.Effective Presentation of Data

Importance of an Effective Data Presentation
• The desired effect is not ‘data,’ but ‘information.’
• A good appearance will not disguise bad data, but a bad appearance may minimize your good efforts.

Why Do We Need to Understand Graphic Design?
• To have the correct vocabulary to communicate with design professionals
• To work efficiently and produce better quality documents
• Good design is “intelligence made visible”

Project Background Questions
• What are the expectations of the audience? What is their level of sophistication?
• How will the document be used?
• What are the available resources and timetable?
• How and where will the document be printed, and are there cost limitations?

Basic Graphic Design Elements
• Unity
• Variety
• Design a Page Grid
• Group Related Items
• Establish Clear Alignments
• Repeat Visual Elements
• Utilize Strong Contrasts
• Choose Appropriate Fonts

Size

Reproduction

Lines

Level of Precision

Over-label

Abbreviations

Style Considerations

“Although we often hear that data speak for themselves, their voices can be soft and sly.”

Mosteller, F. Beginning Statistics with Data Analysis. 1983.

Conceptual Errors in Presenting DataAnna Waggener, U.S. Army War College
• Using ‘chart junk’
• No relative basis

in comparing data

batches

• Compressing the

Vertical axis

• No zero point on the

vertical axis

‘Chart Junk’ and Lie Factor

Good Presentation

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

\$

1960: \$1.00

4

1970: \$1.60

2

1980: \$3.10

0

1960

1970

1980

1990

1990: \$3.80

Source: Anna Waggener

No Relative Basis

Good Presentation

Freq.

%

30%

300

200





10%

0



FR

SO

JR

SR

FR

SO

JR

SR

Source: Anna Waggener

No Zero Point on Vertical Axis

Good Presentation

Monthly Expenses

Monthly Expenses

\$

\$

45

60

42

40

39

20

36

0

J

F

M

M

J

J

F

M

A

M

J

A

Graphing the first six months of sales.

Source: Anna Waggener

More Errors in Presenting Data
• Inappropriate use of depth
• Poor labeling
• Too small or too crowded
• Bad translation from color to black and white
• Not enough information

Especially Annoying Errors in Presenting Data
• Usage of abbreviations, especially computer variables
• Superfluous ‘tick’ marks
• Vibration
• Unnecessary precision
• Data hiding in text form

Using Fonts in Presentations
• Pick the right font for the message.
• Serif fonts (Times New Roman) vs. Sans Serif fonts (Arial).
• Use bold, italics, and color carefully.
• Consistency is important.

Source: Microsoft Powerpoint.

Typical Powerpoint Default Chart

For help or information, contact

Rena Cheskis-Gold, (203) 397-1612

[email protected]