Best Practices in Presenting Data and Information

Best Practices in Presenting Data and Information NEAIR 2010 Summer Drive-In Workshop Terra Schehr Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research...
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Best Practices in Presenting Data and Information NEAIR 2010 Summer Drive-In Workshop Terra Schehr Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Effectiveness Loyola University Maryland

Agenda  Underlying philosophy  Sectors/audiences  Deliverables (Word, PPT, Excel, PDF . . .)  Tables, charts, and supergraphics  What is the point?

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Underlying Philosophy

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What we are known for

Useful

Trust

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Knowledge Management Traditional IR Information put to use

Data

Knowledge

Data placed in context T Schehr

Information

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Resource: ISKME

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Approaching the Data  3 Rs  Reduce  Reuse  Recycle

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 What kind of cop are you going to be?  Joe Friday  Vic Mackey  ?

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Small group activity What do you wonder/worry about when preparing/ presenting data? T Schehr

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Sectors and audiences

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Audiences Target Audience

Where to Aim

Board of Trustees / Regents

Moderate detail; illustrative quotes; summaries that help them make connections; erring on side of policy-setting vs. micromanaging

Cabinet / Executive

Moderate detail; low amount of narrative; tables / bullet lists that help consolidate data into broad topical categories; conclusions, implications, recommendations clearly stated

Faculty and Other Experts

Fairly high amount of detail in tables; graphics that display results; define terminology; clear inferences and conclusions; references and citations

Lay People

Simple graphics; illustrative quotes

All

Organize around themes; clear labeling of sections so reader can skim/skip; technical and statistical details in an appendix

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Resource: Bers & Seybert

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Audience Appropriate Reporting

Data

faculty & other experts

all

Knowledge cabinet / executive, faculty & other experts, lay people

Information T Schehr

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Resource: ISKME 10

Dale’s Cone of Experience

Dale, E (1969) T Schehr

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Dale’s Cone of Experience

http://www.marketingplannow. com/index.asp?page=2090 T Schehr

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Deliverables

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Purposes of Reports  Historical record  Support for planning  Support for policy/program development  Support for policy/program improvement  Public relations  Compliance T Schehr

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Resource: Bers & Seybert

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Small group activity What are the advantages/ disadvantages of: Word, Excel, PPT, & PDF as the platform for deliverables? T Schehr

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Tools for Deliverables Tool

Pros

Cons

Excel

Can interact with the data

Usually no narrative summary provided—conclusions are up to the user

PDF

All content is protected from change Not interactive—if we want our work to be used we need to let people use it (interact, copy-paste, etc.)

PPT

Bells and whistles

Can be challenging to make it “stand-alone”

Word

Can get a lot of content on a page

Visually less interesting than PPT

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Essential Content  Meaningful title  Leader/header on each page  Author/office of origin  Source of data  Page numbers

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Organizing Content  Focus on the big ideas/news  Aggregate first then drill down to subgroups  Show

trends when possible  Identify significant differences 

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With survey items start with the “overall” item (e.g. overall satisfaction) and then discuss more specific items Summer 2010

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Organizing Content – cont.  Unless there is a meaningful order to the categories in a table/chart, sort results from largest to smallest  Percentages may be more meaningful than means  Top/Bottom Two Box %

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Tables and Charts

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Tables vs. Charts Tables

Charts

Data

Exact values, end-user can manipulate the data (depending on which deliverable tool is used), works for qualitative data

Sometimes requires user to estimate the values, data is not (usually) interactive, not appropriate for qualitative data

Trends

May take some study to see trends and patterns--this increases as the number of data elements increases

Easy to see trends and patterns

Interactions May take some study to see interactions--this increases as the number of data elements increases T Schehr

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Easy to see interactions

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Question: What other things go into your decision to use either tables or charts? T Schehr

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Overall Tips  Don’t settle for the default settings  Maximize the amount of “ink” used on the data and minimize the “ink” everywhere else (grid lines, boxes, etc.)  If something stands out (different font, different colored bar in a chart, etc.) it should be for a reason  Round results (except things like GPA) T Schehr

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Tables

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Tables – Basic Organization  Organize columns and rows in a meaningful way  Natural order (past to future)  Meaningful grouping (ranks of faculty)  Alphabetical  Magnitude of values (largest to smallest)

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Tables – Basic Organization – cont.  Only one piece of data per cell  Maintain consistent alignment of data  Column labels centered  Numbers to right  Decimals and percentage signs aligned  Text to left T Schehr

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Tables – Text  Avoid orientating text differently than from left –to-right (horizontal)  Avoid using ALL CAPS  Use meaningful variable names and labels  Try for consistent length of variable labels

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Tables – Numbers  Use appropriate number formats  Commas in whole numbers  % next to every percentage value  Include column and row summaries as appropriate  Totals  Means/Medians T Schehr

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Tables – Example 1 Consistent length of label?

Meaningful label?

More than one piece of data

F06

F07

F08

F09

Took placement test

1828 83.5%

1855 83.2%

2221 86.5%

1889 95.6%

5904 84.5%

Did not take Placement test

361 16.5%

375 16.8%

346 13.4%

85 4.3%

1082 15.4%

Total

2189

2230

2567

1974

6986

Shading is too dark

Inconsistent alignment of data

Number format and decimal places T Schehr

Total

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Meaningful summary?

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Tables – Better Example 1 Took Placement Test?

Fall 2006

Fall 2007

Fall 2008

Fall 2009

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

Total

Avg

Yes

1,828

84%

1,855

83%

2,221

87%

1,889

96%

5,904

88%

No

361

16%

375

17%

346

13%

85

4%

1,082

13%

Total

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2,189 100%

2,230 100%

2,567 100%

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1,974 100%

Summary

6,986 100%

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Tables – Even Better Example 1 Took Placement Test?

Fall 2006

Fall 2007

Fall 2008

Fall 2009

Avg

Yes

84%

83%

87%

96%

88%

No

16%

17%

13%

4%

13%

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organization is not meaningful

all CAPS and centered

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Tables – Example 2

Fictitious Data on Where Urban Studies Graduate Students Enroll Row Labels ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY - NEW ENGLAND BALTIMORE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE BAYLOR UNIVERSITY (blank) BOSTON UNIVERSITY CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY IMMACULATA UNIVERSITY LAKE TAHOE COMMUNITY COLLEGE LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE ST JOHNS UNIVERSITY TOWSON UNIVERSITY TULANE UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY Grand Total

2006

2007 2008 2009 7 1 5 2 2 1 2

3 3 9 2 5 2

2 2

11 5 2 8 1 25

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3

2 1

4 18

8

Grand Total 7 1 7 5 3 3 9 2 5 4 2 13 9 2 8 1 4 85

difficult to track across the rows

Data are not aligned in columns

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Tables – Better Example 2 Number of Students Admitted in fall of . . . Where do Urban Studies graduate students enroll? St. Johns Towson Immaculata University of Kansas Baylor Antioch University – New England Louisiana Tech Villanova Northeastern Creighton Boston University Tulane Salt Lake Community College Baltimore City Community College Grand Total T Schehr

2006 11

2007

2008

5

3

2009 2 1

5

2

9 8 7 5 4 2 3

2 3 2 2 25

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17

1 6

Total 13 9 9 8 7 7 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 77 33

Tables – Example 3 Table 3. Amount of Time in a Typical Week During the Prior Year Spent in Prayer or Meditation Loyola Class of 2008 as Entering FirstYear Students

Loyola Class of 2008 as Juniors

Class of 2008 Juniors at Catholic Institutions

None

21%

23%C

30%

Less than 1 hour

39%

41%

34%

One to Two Hours

31%

25%

26%

Three hours or more

9%

11%

10%

C – indicates a significant difference between Loyola juniors and juniors at other Catholic institutions.

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Tables – The Last Word  When a table is a cross-tab put the independent variable on the columns and use column percentages  If a table breaks across pages, repeat column and row labels as appropriate  Pick a format that works for you (and your audiences) and stick with it T Schehr

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Charts

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Charts – Basic Guidelines  Organize the data in a meaningful way  Use prominent and clear graphical elements to show data  Don’t clutter the interior of a chart  Avoid using 3-dimensional charts

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Charts – Basic Guidelines – cont.  Include the detail about the data points on the chart whenever possible  Keep series labels and legends short and easy to read  When possible, label the chart data directly instead of using a legend

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Types of Charts  Depict size  Depict change over time  Depict what is typical or, alternatively, exceptional  Depict relationships or predictions

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Resource: Bers & Seybert

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Charts Depicting Size

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Pie Chart – Example 1 Is this college your . . .

1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice > 3rd Choice

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Pie Chart – Better Example 1 Is this college your . . . 2nd Choice 26%

3rd Choice 7% > 3rd Choice 4%

1st Choice 64%

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Pie Chart – Comparison Is this college your . . .

Is this college your . . .

1st Choice

2nd Choice 26%

2nd Choice

3rd Choice 7% > 3rd Choice 4%

3rd Choice > 3rd Choice

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1st Choice 64%

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Bar Chart –Example 2 Percent of seniors who spent 6 or more hours a week in each leisure-time activity Exercising Online social networks Partying Playing video games Prayer/meditation Reading for pleasure Socializing with friends Student clubs Surfing the net Volunteering 0% T Schehr

20% Summer 2010

40%

60%

80%

100% 44

Bar Chart – Better Example 2 Percent of seniors who spent 6 or more hours a week in each leisure-time activity Socializing with friends Partying Surfing the net Exercising Student clubs Online social networks Volunteering Reading for pleasure Playing video games Prayer/meditation

88% 52% 32% 28% 14% 12% 6% 4% 2% 1% 0%

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20% Summer 2010

40%

60%

80%

100% 45

Bar Chart – Comparison Percent of seniors who spent 6 or more hours a week in each leisure-time activity

Percent of seniors who spent 6 or more hours a week in each leisure-time activity

Socializing with friends Partying Surfing the net Exercising Student clubs Online social networks Volunteering Reading for pleasure Playing video games Prayer/meditation

Exercising Online social networks Partying Playing video games Prayer/meditation Reading for pleasure Socializing with friends Student clubs Surfing the net Volunteering 0%

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20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

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88% 52% 32% 28% 14% 12% 6% 4% 2% 1% 0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

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Charts Depicting Change Over Time

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Line Chart – Example 3 High School Graduates Who Enroll in College Within 12 Months of Graduating 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

73% 69%69%69% 69% 68% 67% 66% 66% 65% 65% 64% 62% 64% 64%66% 63% 63% 62% 61% 61% 60%59% 59% 59% 59% 59% 57%56% 57% 56% 56% 55% 55% 55% 55% 55% 53% 52%53% 51%66% 51% 50% 48% 62% 62% 47% 46% 44% 59% 58% 43% 43% 57% 57% 42% 55% 55% 54% 40% 54% 53%54% 54% 38% 52% 52% 37% 51% 36% 49%51%47% 52% 43%44%44% 43% 42%

African-American Hispanic White

34%

20% 10% 0%

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Line Chart – Better Example 3 High School Graduates Who Enroll in College Within 12 Months of Graduating 80% 69%

70%

58%

60% 52%

55%

50% 50%

40% 43%

30%

African-American

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Hispanic

White

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Line Chart – Comparison High School Graduates Who Enroll in College Within 12 Months of Graduating

High School Graduates Who Enroll in College Within 12 Months of Graduating 80%

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30%

73% 69%69%69% 69% 68% 67% 66% 66% 66% 65% 65% 64% 64% 64% 63% 63% 62% 62% 61% 61% 60%59% 59% 59%59% 59% 56% 56% 55% 55% 57% 53% 55%57%56% 55% 55% 53% 52% 51%66% 51% 50% 48% 62% 62% 47% 46% 59% 58% 43% 43% 57% 42% 44% 55%57% 55% 54% 40% 54% 54% 54% 53% 38% 52% 52% 37% 52% 51% 51% 36% 49% 47% 43%44%44% 43% 42%

20%

69%

70%

African-American Hispanic

58%

60% 52%

White

55%

50% 50%

34% 40% 43%

10% 0%

30%

African-American

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Hispanic

White

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The Area Chart Debate – Example 4 Private 4-Year Published and Net Tuition and Fees in Constant 2007 Dollars $25,000 $23,712

$20,000

39%

$14,755

$15,000

36%

$14,400

$10,000 $9,377

$5,000

$0

Tuition and Fees

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Net Tuition and Fees

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The Area Chart Debate – Example 4 Private 4-Year Published and Net Tuition and Fees in Constant 2007 Dollars $25,000 $23,712

$20,000

39%

$14,755

$15,000

36%

$14,400

$10,000 $9,377

$5,000

$0

Tuition and Fees

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Net Tuition and Fees

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Column Charts – Example 5 Enriching Educational Experiences Seniors 100

Effect size .35

.50

^

^

75

51.2 50

45.5

53.0

.26

48.2

.15

.67

50.3 40.8

25

0

Statistically significant difference from Loyola-2009 score

^ Statistically significant difference from Loyola-2004 score T Schehr

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Charts Depicting What is Typical or Exceptional

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Histogram – Example 6 Linguistics Dept.

Urban Studies Dept.

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Histogram and Number of Bins

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Resource: Robbins 56

Box and Whisker Plots – Example 7 Individual outlier cases + 1.5 IQR 75Th %-ile Median 25Th %-ile - 1.5 IQR

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Trick Excel into Box-like Plots Using Stock Plots – Example 8 2002 U.S. NEWS Academic Reputation Score 5 Range of Values 4 Average Value 3 Institution A 2

1 Tier 1

Tier 2

Weight towards overall score = 25%

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Charts Depicting Relationships or Predictions

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Scatterplot – Example 9 2007 SAT Reading and Writing Scores 650

SAT Writing Score

600 550 500 450 400 350 300 300

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

SAT Critical Reading Score T Schehr

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Scatterplot – Better Example 9 2007 SAT Reading and Writing Scores 650

SAT Writing Score

600 550 500 450 400 350 300 300

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

SAT Critical Reading Score T Schehr

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Scatterplot – Value of the Fit Line 2007 SAT Math and Writing Scores

650

650

600

600

SAT Writing Score

SAT Writing Score

2007 SAT Reading and Writing Scores

550 500 450 400 350

550 500 450 400 350

300

300 300

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

SAT Critical Reading Score

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300

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

SAT Math Score

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HIGH

Scatterplot of Summary Data – Example 10 NEEDS ATTENTION

SUCCESS Interaction with faculty

Social life on campus

Tutorial help / academic assistance Faculty availability

Derived Importance

Major advising Culture & fine arts programming

Student center programs

Library facilities/ resources Computer services/support

Classroom/ lab facilities

Financial aid office Registrar's office Computer facilities/ resources

LOW

First-year advising

UNDERRECOGNIZED

LOW PRIORITY DISSATISFIED

VERY SATISFIED

Satisfaction

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Charts – The Last Word  When using several charts in a document they should be consistent  Use common chart types for similar types of data  Use common color schemes and sizes  Use a common baseline and scale

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Supergraphics

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What is a Supergraphic?  Data rich  Multi-graphic  Usually a high resolution physical handout  Ex: map, weather section in a news paper

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The Best Supergraphic Ever?

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Resource: Tufte

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The Supergraphic

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http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1006/rise-of-walking-and-biking/flat.html

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http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/0908/trans0809joblessinthecity.html

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Supergraphics – The Last Word  “[Tufte] and I disagree. He thinks people are a lot smarter than I do. He likes packing a ton of information into a slide and letting people tease it out (same as the Napoleon graph in his first book). I go in the opposite direction. If you can get the info across at first glance, you win.” - Seth Godin

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Closing Thoughts

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Displaying Data and Information: What is the Point?  Connect with the audience  Direct audience’s attention  Promote understanding and memory

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Connect With the Audience  Principle of relevance  Do not give too much or too little information  Principle of appropriate knowledge  Avoid concepts, jargon, and symbols that can not be easily explained in the display

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Resource: Kosslyn

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Direct Audience’s Attention  Principle of salience  Make sure perception is reality  Use formatting to highlight the differences you want readers to focus on  Principle of perceptual organization  If you want elements grouped in a particular way, do it yourself don’t leave it up to the reader T Schehr

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Resource: Kosslyn

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Promote Understanding and Memory  Principle of informative changes  Be intentional about formatting  Principle of capacity limitations  Be careful with supergraphics

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Resource: Kosslyn

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Resources  Bers, T.H. & Seybert, J.A. (1999). Effective reporting. (Resources in Institutional Research, 12) Tallahasee, FL: The Association for Institutional Research.  Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education www.ISKME.org  Kosslyn, S. (2007). Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological Principles for Compelling PowerPoint Presentations. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  Robbins, N. (2005). Creating more effective graphics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..  Tufte, Edward www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/index

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Terra Schehr Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Effectiveness Loyola University Maryland [email protected]