We’ll breeze through data visualization best practices and then dive into the fun stuff: creating advanced charts in Microsoft Excel. Together we’ll design heat tables, bubble charts, sparklines, dot plots, slope graphs, and small multiples and panel layouts, just to name a few. You’ll leave with the critical thinking skills and technical prowess needed to create visualizations faster and easier than you ever thought was possible.
The ultimate goal of data visualization is to communicate data more effectively to our own coworkers and to outside audiences like funders and the media. A common misconception is that data analysts need to be expert programmers before diving into visualization. I’ll expose attendees to four big-picture strategies for creating effective data visualizations in Excel: 1) Tweaking default settings to make even the simplest bar charts easier to understand, 2) Building two or more charts in “one” to create the illusion of one cohesive chart, 3) Using invisible white sections (e.g., using a stacked bar chart foundation to create a small multiples chart), and 4) Getting creative with existing Excel chart types to design completely different chart types (e.g., using a scatter plot foundation to create a dot plot). Once attendees learn and practice these behind-the-scenes secrets, they’ll be unstoppable when they return home.
Ann K. Emery equips organizations to visualize data more effectively. Within the past year alone, she has led more than 60 professional development trainings for more than 2,800 participants around the globe. Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making data-heavy reports easier to digest for non-technical audiences. Recent clients include the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, and dozens of professional societies, associations, foundations, and nonprofits.