Presenting Data Effectively to your Board Members

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.

 
 

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.

  1. Choose a proper format and design.
  2. Use words, numbers, and drawings together.
  3. The scale of your display should be relevant.
  4. Have a narrative quality (i.e. a story to tell about your data findings).
  5. 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:

 

 

 

May 26, 2003


Comments

 
 
 
  • I find some irony in the fact that, toward the end of the article, the emphasis is on the reduction of confusion, while the data labels on the "x" axis appear to be formatted incorrectly (should these be dates?).
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • Very useful infomation that will reap benefits down the road in Communication with your board
    Anonymous
     
     
     
  • simple, simply put, but, oh, so useful
    Anonymous