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Presenting data professionally

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Presenting data professionally

Presenting data professionally


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  • Hypothesis 1: Generally, the speed with which I read a manuscript is inversely proportional to its quality.Hypothesis 2: Generally, the longer it takes for me to understand a manuscript the lower the grade it gets.
  • Source: www.eMarketer.com, as cited by Cooper and Schindler (2011)What’s wrong with the tableIncomplete title – No table number; not precise enoughNo column heading for countriesSpending in what denomination? Dollars or Euro?Column widths of columns two and three are not the sameSource of data not identifiedData could have been arranged in another way, other than alphabetically
  • What is wrong with this graph? Inappropriate graph – pie chart should not have been used Title is not complete, and is not descriptive Graph cannot be understood without reference to the narrative
  • Bar chart is appropriate for the type of data presented.Graph has descriptive title, including the period when data were collected.Y-axis has appropriate label; no need for label for x-axisGraph can be understood without reference to the narrative.
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    • 1. Presenting data professionally By Raymund B. Habaradas Management and Organization Department De La Salle University
    • 2. Florence Nightingale and the pie chart Florence Nightingale is best remembered as the mother of modern nursing. Few realize, however, that she also occupies a place in history for her use of graphical methods to convey complex statistical information. After witnessing deplorable sanitary conditions in the Crimea, she wrote Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army (1858), which included colourful polar-area diagrams where statistics being represented were proportional to the area of a wedge in a circular diagram. These charts visually illustrated that far more deaths were attributable to non-battle causes such as unsanitary conditions than to battle related causes.
    • 3. Polar diagram, also known as the “Nightingale Rose Diagram”
    • 4. Florence Nightingale and the pie chart With this information, Nightingale helped to promote the idea that social phenomena could be objectively measured and subjected to mathematical analysis. And through this statistical approach, Nightingale convinced military authorities, Parliament and Queen Victoria to carry out her proposed hospital reforms – which resulted in a decline in the mortality rate for soldiers. As Nightingale demonstrated, statistics provided an organized way of learning and led to improvements in medical and surgical practices. She also developed a Model Hospital Statistical Form that could be used to collect and generate consistent data and statistics. She became a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1858, an honorary member of the American Statistical Association in 1874, and has been acknowledged as a “prophetess” in the development of applied statistics.
    • 5. Effective data presentation Converts raw data to a more digestible form (e.g. summary tables, charts, and graphs)  Shows important information at a glance  Enhances understanding  Delivers insight from data  Persuades decision makers 
    • 6. Only half of Lasallians say they have a healthy diet. Table 1. I have a healthy daily diet f % Strongly agree 2 3.70% Agree 25 46.30% Neither agree nor disagree 18 33.33% Disagree 9 16.67% Strongly disagree 0 0.00% Total To the statement “I have a healthy diet”, only half responded either with an “agree” (46%) or strongly agree (4%). About 33% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, while the other 17% disagreed. This translated into a mean score of 2.629. Response 54 100%
    • 7. Make it easy for your reader. Don’t make him work too hard, trying to understand your paper. “If your paper is easy to read and understand, then much time and care must have been invested in writing it. That paper deserves a high grade.” – Sir Habs
    • 8. Common mistakes in presenting tables Titles are not descriptive enough  Units of measure are not stated clearly  Column widths are inconsistent and disproportionate  Table sizes are inconsistent  Tables are not self-explanatory  No notes to explain abbreviations or unusual terminology 
    • 9. What’s wrong with this table? Online spending and purchases by Internet users in selected countries Spending Purchases Belgium 790 6 Denmark 1159 11 France 509 8 Germany 521 10 Italy 454 7 Netherlands 681 7 Norway 1406 7 Spain 452 5 Sweden 1013 9 United Kingdom 1201 18
    • 10. What are the improvements? Table 1. Online spending and purchases by Internet users in selected countries in Western Europe, September 2006 (average) Spending Country (in Euro) Purchases Norway 1406 7 United Kingdom 1201 18 Denmark 1159 11 Sweden 1013 9 Belgium 790 6 Netherlands 681 7 Germany 521 10 France 509 8 Italy 454 7 Spain 452 5 Source: Synovate and SPA Market Research - UK for the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA), January 2007
    • 11. Inconsistent table sizes Table 1. I have a healthy daily diet Response f % Strongly agree 2 3.70% Agree 25 46.30% Neither agree nor disagree 18 33.33% Disagree 9 16.67% Strongly disagree 0 0.00% Total 54 100% Avoid distorting tables by indiscriminately pulling them vertically or horizontally, without regard for their original proportions. Be careful when you copypaste and resize tables. Table 2. The canteens in school provide nutritious food Response f % Strongly agree 1 1.85% Agree 21 38.89% Neither agree nor disagree 23 42.59% Disagree 8 14.81% Strongly disagree 1 1.85% Total 54 100%
    • 12. Consistent table sizes Table 1. I have a healthy daily diet Response f % Strongly agree 2 3.70% Agree 25 46.30% Neither agree nor disagree 18 33.33% Disagree 9 16.67% Strongly disagree 0 0.00% Total 54 100% Table 2. The canteens in school provide nutritious food Response f % Strongly agree 1 1.85% Agree 21 38.89% Neither agree nor disagree 23 42.59% Disagree 8 14.81% Strongly disagree 1 1.85% Total 54 100% Make sure that tables are aligned across the manuscript. Column widths and heights, as well as the typefaces and font sizes, of similar tables must also be consistent. This makes for a professional-looking document. Don’t forget to use the prescribed APA standards for tables – no vertical lines, and sparing use of horizontal lines.
    • 13. Common mistakes in presenting diagrams or figures Titles are not descriptive enough  Diagrams don’t have axis labels  Absence of key or legend  Inappropriate diagrams or graphs 
    • 14. What is wrong with this graph?
    • 15. More appropriate graph
    • 16. For descriptive statistics           Frequency tables Cross-tabulations Measures of central tendency and dispersion Bar charts (single or multiple) Histograms Line graphs (single or multiple) Pareto diagrams Pie charts Box plots Pictograms
    • 17. Frequency table and bar chart
    • 18. Pareto diagram
    • 19. Box plot components
    • 20. Geograph
    • 21. For inferential statistics       Cross-tabulations T-test results ANOVA test results Chi-square test results Correlation test results Regression test results
    • 22. ANOVA and correlation Table 9. ANOVA results – pre-final grade and final exams
    • 23. Presenting data professionally By Raymund B. Habaradas Management and Organization Department De La Salle University