Wow. What this means to me is that how we see data matters. But, how do we really see data? After finishing a large report with 30 pages straight of tables, p values, percentages, standard deviations… I believe. I believe that there are better ways to visualize data to communicate what is most important. I know that resources like Stephanie Evergreen’s Excel Data Visualization Blog have taught me more than an entire freshman year in college.
Data should be visualized. This means using colors, bold fonts, spacing, flow, and symbols to help readers see what the data is really saying. I have the tendency to include more data than what is needed- it is easy to get lost in tables of data and never really know what any of the data means. Well, data visualization is the key. What would you rather see, a table with 30 rows of data, or one simple dot-plot with a color-coded statement about meaning? Save the tables for the appendixes and rock on with visuals to communicate powerful messages about the meaning of data.