Lab Matters Winter 2020 - Page 28

COMMUNICATIONS 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 visualization format 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. Tables 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 table. Graphs 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. 26 LAB MATTERS Winter 2020 PublicHealthLabs @APHL APHL.org