Giving Data Its Due: Data Visualization in PowerPoint
by Jody DeVoll, MAT, advisor, Communications
PowerPoint is omnipresent at professional meetings, and APHL conferences are no exception. With APHL 2020 and other
spring conferences on the horizon, we offer the following tips for creating effective data-driven presentations.
Keep it Simple
Select the appropriate data
Convey one point per slide.
To convey multiple points, use multiple
slides. If comparison is important, use a
series of small graphs on one slide.
Use with caution. Tables are valuable for
showing individual values but are hard
to read quickly and see the relationships
between components. If you must include
a table in your presentation, make it large
and simple, and emphasize key data with
color and minimize color elsewhere in the
Graphs show the shape of the data and
are easier to interpret from a distance, but
choose the type with care:
• Bar graphs: Most often used to
compare categories or represent
changes over time. Very versatile.
• Line graphs: Show trends of
continuous data over time.
• Scatter plot: Show correlation of large
volume of items to two variables.
• Pie charts: Compare parts to a whole.
Should only be used with five or fewer
parts that add up to 100%, with slices
ranked largest to smallest, clockwise
from 12 o’clock.
LAB MATTERS Winter 2020