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November 10, 2011

Telling a Good Story: Effective presentation of analytical results

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Another great TDWI webinar today: “Effective presentation of analytical results” by Jonathan Koomey. Much of the content will be review for those that have read books by Edward Tufte and Stephen Few (many of the examples used were taken from Show Me the Numbers), but it’s always good to hear someone else’s take on effective presentations.  My key takeaways:

  • Know your audience - Think about what your audience cares about, and express your results in those terms
  • Don’t forget the decision maker
  • Use structured storytelling to present the key results
  • Document your work (results & methodology) so that others can recreate it
  • Break up graphs and tables into two categories
    – Those that give you insights
    – Those that help you tell your story to others
  • Charts and figures must focus on the data
  • Improving poor visualizations is a great way to teach best practices
    – Even simple changes can make a huge difference in communication
  • My favorite quote: “Data are dull only when chosen poorly and presented badly”

Download the presentation here or read it below.

UPDATE (11/11/2011): The webinar video is now available for replay. Watch it here.

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