Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018 - 33

SIMPLE DATA VISUALIZATION TRICKS THAT TURN
YOUR NUMBERS INTO NARRATIVES
By Janine Kurnoff

ASK ANY EXECUTIVE WHAT
THEIR BIGGEST FRUSTRATIONS
ARE AND, INVARIABLY, THEY
WILL ANSWER, "LONG-WINDED,
UNFOCUSED PRESENTATIONS
THAT PACK IN TOO MUCH DATA."
MODERN INSTITUTIONS, FROM
MAJOR MANUFACTURERS TO
GOVERNMENTS TO FINANCIAL
SERVICES, HAVE A REAL DATA
PROBLEM. BUT THE DATA ITSELF
ISN'T TO BLAME. AFTER ALL,
CHARTS ARE NOT INHERENTLY
BAD OR EVIL. THE PROBLEM
IS THAT WELL-MEANING DATA
GATHERERS, WHO OFFER
CHARTS AND TABLES GALORE,
FAIL TO DISTILL THEIR NUMBERS
INTO A CLEAR, DIGESTIBLE,
MEANINGFUL MESSAGE.

And, unfortunately for hectic execs,
it doesn't look like our zeal for data
display is slowing down anytime soon.
On the contrary, smart, hard-working,
capable people who have spent
months gathering product performance
numbers or quality assurance trends or
financial projections, want to show the
dazzling display of "knowledge" more
than ever.
But data with no clear message isn't
knowledge...it's just data. And the truth
is, executives aren't looking for data, or
often even generic knowledge, they're
looking for actionable insights. And they
don't want to have to work to get them.
They think it's your job (and it is!).
Learning and development professionals
need their ideas to be heard and
are often challenged with proving
training's impact to business leaders.
By understanding how to display
data in a way that is not only visually
appealing but tells a compelling story
that engages audiences and drives
key messages home, learning leaders
are better positioned to demonstrate

business value and gain buy-in for
their programs.
But before we get to the amazing data
visualization techniques, there are two
critical steps that should always come
first: You must clearly understand
your presentation goals, and you
must identify the key data points that
will support your BIG idea. With that,
you are ready to unleash clever visual
techniques that will trigger lightning
bolts of insight within your audience.
Here are the three steps.

Step 1: Understand Your Data
Presentation Goals
Most data presenters skip a simple
yet critical exercise. They don't ask
themselves, "What exactly am I trying to
achieve with my data presentation? Who
is my audience? Am I giving an update or
status report? Am I presenting a forecast
that will influence future decisions?" It's
only when you have truly nailed down
your end goal that you can start to tease
out the relevance, and the story, behind
your numbers.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - TRAINING TOOLBOX 20 18 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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