When introducing data during a board meeting, graphs are a necessary
component of an effective presentation. These exhibits are easy
to produce and make an impact on your audience. In an effort to
manage data and present it in a visually effective way, it is imperative
to follow several important guidelines. These simple rules will
aid you in creating aesthetically pleasing graphs that properly
convey your statistical analysis.
Good design has two key elements: simplicity of design and complexity
of data. Good graphs start with good data. Data analysis graphs
do not display trivial information. All diagrams should represent
data that is useful and important to the audience. Secondly, graphs
should be designed in way that allows accessibility to complex details.
In order to accomplish this there are 5 basic rules for producing
attractive displays of statistical information.
- Choose a proper format and design.
- Use words, numbers, and drawings together.
- The scale of your display should be relevant.
- Have a narrative quality (i.e. a story to tell about your data
- Avoid content-free decoration.
It is good to remember when preparing your data charts that confusion
and clutter are failures of design and not attributes of information.
If your graphics display is hard to read, do not fault the data
for excess of complication or the viewers for lack of understanding.
It is your responsibility to present the data to your board in a
way that allows them to recognize the key statistical points.
This is an example of an effecient data presentation
chart using the practice guidelines above: