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Communicating Your Data Effectively Through Graphs

Originally Aired
May 15, 2015
Event Type
Presented By
Ann K. Emery
Movie Audio Other

Presenting visual data through charts, tables, and diagrams helps you deliver bite-sized information that viewers will understand at a glance and retain for the long run. Ann Emery (Col ’08) will teach you what data visualization is, how it works, and key players and trends in the field.

Ann presents a step-by-step design process so you can apply the necessary critical thinking skills to your own projects. Topics include:

  • How to match your visualization to your viewers’ information needs and interests
  • Which dissemination format is best for your project: reports, handouts, dashboards, GIFs, and animated videos are a few possible communications tools
  • Introduction to chart choosing skills: slope charts, tree maps, social network maps, or dot plots are possible swaps for your overused pie charts and bar charts
  • Selecting the correct tool for the job: pros and cons of Excel, Tableau, and R for data visualization
  • Best practices for formatting your charts: making the chart title meaningful, removing chart clutter, and ensuring that your color scheme is legible

About Ann K. Emery

Ann K. Emery (Col ’08) double-majored in Psychology and Spanish and gained data skills while working as an undergraduate research assistant for professors across multiple Psychology, Public Policy, and Education schools and departments at the University of Virginia. After graduating, she put her skills into use as a researcher at the Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families, ICF International, the Latin American Youth Center, and Innovation Network. Last year, Ann launched her own consulting firm and now equips organizations to communicate their data more effectively. She leads more than 50 workshops and webinars each year about Excel, Tableau, dashboard design, and spreadsheet skills. Ann is the Co-Chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Data Visualization and Reporting interest group and Secretary for the Washington Evaluators. Connect with Ann through her blog ( and through Twitter (

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