Written for students, professionals, and social scientists with little or no knowledge of data visualization principles, this complete guide presents step-by-step instructions for clearly and effectively presenting data using MS Office programs. Throughout the book, the focus is on turning raw, quantitative data into attractive, well-designed charts and tables that tell an accurate narrative about underlying information. Helpful illustrations, expert tips for solving common issues, and discussions on working efficiently are included to equip readers with the tools they need to engage their audience using a visual format.

Choosing Data Displays

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the audience factors that drive data visualization decisions
  • Distinguish data reports from presentations
  • Match data to chart types

Information and Audience Considerations

Before opening software and starting to create tables and charts, several preliminary issues should be addressed. Answering these questions will guide your data visualization decisions as you proceed with your analysis and reporting.

How much information?

More information does not equate to better information. It is your job to determine what the audience needs and provide it. It is never a good idea to deliver everything you have and let the audience sort it out. Extraneous data are distracting and damage message reception, comprehension, and retention. Having a clear picture of your audience will drive your decision about how much data to provide, ...

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