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How to communicate numerical information

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Following the success of the six-part series 'Finding and Communicating the Story' in 2016, NewMR have launched Part 2 – an on-going series of webinars with Ray Poynter on the topic of how to ‘Find and Communicate’ the story.
'How to communicate numerical information' is the second of four webinars in the series.

This on-going series will build on the material in the first course (which is available online via the NewMR.org Play Again page, and will provide specific examples and practical advice on how to find and communicate the story. The webinars (and supporting notes) will show how to take information, find the key insights, and communicate them in ways most likely to result in action.

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How to communicate numerical information

  1. 1. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Finding & Communica-ng the Story Lesson 2 of 4 (2017 series) Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on Ray Poynter July 2017
  2. 2. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Agenda 1.  The Context 2.  Reducing Complexity 3.  Stories 4.  Dashboards 5.  References 6.  Top Tips
  3. 3. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Series Schedule – 2017 •  How to see the meaning in numbers 31 May •  How to communicate numerical informaDon 5 July •  Sense-making with open-ended text 7 September •  Think, Feel, Do PresentaDons that change behaviour 9 November
  4. 4. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Different Communica-ons Stories Reference Dashboards
  5. 5. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Why Do We Present Numbers?
  6. 6. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Reduce Complexity Albert Einstein Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
  7. 7. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Reduce Complexity – Key Tools •  Remove the unnecessary •  Minimise the number of digits •  Use summaries •  Re-structure the data •  Use comparisons •  Visualise
  8. 8. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Remove The Unnecessary Context dependent: e.g. for analysis, reporDng, story telling. If the raw data is available, more becomes unnecessary.
  9. 9. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Remove The Unnecessary Context dependent: e.g. for analysis, reporDng, story telling. If the raw data is available, more becomes unnecessary. 61% Important
  10. 10. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Minimise The Number of Digits   Turnover (US$m) Turnover (US$m) Turnover (US$m) Turnover (US$m) Turnover (US$m) Latin America 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Brazil 777 823 724 754 502 Mexico 459 454 451 445 397 Venezuela 109 134 130 180 310 Colombia 158 171 173 180 156 Chile 101 115 125 115 103 Peru 63 73 85 89 78 Argentina 132 106 117 68 74 Ecuador 25 28 31 33 34 Uruguay 13 13 14 16 14 Dominican Republic 11 10 11 11 11 Costa Rica 9 10 10 10 10 Guatemala 9 9 9 9 10 Bolivia 7 7 8 8 9 Panama 6 6 7 7 7 Paraguay 5 5 6 6 6 El Salvador 5 5 5 5 5 Honduras 3 3 3 3 3 Nicaragua 3 3 3 3 3 Latin America total 1,894 1,976 1,911 1,943 1,731 ESOMAR Global Market Research Report, 2016
  11. 11. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Use Summaries There are 380 matches in a season
  12. 12. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Use Summaries
  13. 13. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Use Summaries
  14. 14. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Re-structure The Data ESOMAR Global Market Research Report, 2016
  15. 15. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Findings Need a Comparator
  16. 16. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Findings Need a Comparator
  17. 17. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Findings Need a Comparator
  18. 18. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Findings Need a Comparator
  19. 19. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Use Comparisons Purple line= Donald Trump Source: hWps://fivethirtyeight.com/
  20. 20. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Visualise If the drilling lines in North Dakota were above ground. Source hWps://www.nyDmes.com/interacDve/2014/11/24/upshot/nd-oil-well-illustraDon.html
  21. 21. Tim Bock, Q, Australia NewMR Advances in Quantitative Research Event, 19 September 2012, Session 2
  22. 22. Tim Bock, Q, Australia NewMR Advances in Quantitative Research Event, 19 September 2012, Session 2 USA Russia England France Germany Denmark Portugal Holland Flanders 0 400 1000 1300 1700 1804 Hans towns Venice & Genoa Spain Constantinople Alexandria Rome Carthage Israel & Judea Greece Tyra etc. Assyria etc. Egypt “DiagonalizaDon”
  23. 23. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Stories
  24. 24. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Think, Feel, Do 1.  Think, the facts 2.  Feel, the emo;onal message 3.  Do, what do you want people to do?
  25. 25. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Advice, Not Precision
  26. 26. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Storytelling And Numbers Minimise the use of numbers –  Imagine you had to pay a dollar for each number Use numbers as storytelling elements, not just as facts –  80% of people prefer brand A = ‘Most people prefer A’ or ‘A is the favourite brand’ Illustrate the general with the personal –  11% of customers are unhappy with baWery performance “The baDery keeps leFng me down, on my journey home the phone is useless to me.”
  27. 27. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Hans Rosling
  28. 28. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Bad News For Men In Eastern Europe Eurostat - hWp://goo.gl/r2q526 Amenable Deaths Per 100,000 of populaDon - 2012
  29. 29. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Seth Godin
  30. 30. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter How many alcoholic drinks did you have this weekend? 30% 27% 19% 7% 19% 14% 31% 49% London Manchester 10 or more 5 to 9 2 to 4 1 None
  31. 31. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter How many alcoholic drinks did you have this weekend? 30% 27% 19% 7% 19% 14% 31% 49% London Manchester 10 or more 5 to 9 2 to 4 1 None
  32. 32. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Does The USA Spend Enough On Health? Gapminder.org USA
  33. 33. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Total Health Spending USA
  34. 34. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Higher Levels of Child Mortality USA Cuba
  35. 35. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Shorter Lives USA Turkey The issue of USA health ROI needs addressing!
  36. 36. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Stories With Numbers Minimise the use of numbers –  People can only remember a small number of simple numbers Most charts should not depend on numbers being visible Think, Feel, Do –  Don’t talk about the data, or the analysis –  Tell the story, focus on the ‘Do’
  37. 37. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Dashboards
  38. 38. Example from dapresy
  39. 39. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Car Dashboard Analogy
  40. 40. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Dashboards Analogy Main dial, speed (coarse units) Rev counter (coarse units) Fuel, occasional viewing, longer-term management Occasional, visible when needed
  41. 41. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter References Media –  Paper, PDF, Electronic Findable –  Structure, signposDng, search, links Reader-centric design –  Not data-centric design Reports –  Story then reference
  42. 42. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter References Don’t Have To Be Boring
  43. 43. With the text, might be useful in a report By Q Research’s Tim Bock, posted on the GreenBook Blog hWp://www.greenbookblog.org/2017/03/16/why-pie-charts-are- beWer-than-bar-charts/ Without most of the text/numbers, might be useful in a presentaDon
  44. 44. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Top Tips •  It’s not about the numbers – It’s about the story •  Think, Feel, Do •  As simple as possible, but no simpler •  PresentaDons, dashboards and references are different – Focus on the user, not the data
  45. 45. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Thank You! Follow me on Twicer @RayPoynter Or sign-up to receive our weekly newslecer at hcp://NewMR.org
  46. 46. Finding and Communica-ng the Story 2017 – Lesson 2 of 4 Communica-ng Numerical Informa-on - Ray Poynter Q & A Ray Poynter The Future Place BeWy Adamou Research Through Gaming

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