Ann K. Emery I design information and share my strategies through keynotes and custom workshops. - page 7

Be Careful with the Y-Axis…

Be Careful with the Y-Axis…

I was recently working with an organization to improve their graphs for an upcoming conference presentation. Notice anything funny about the height of these bars? The shortest bar, for 2012, represents 26,000 youth. But the tallest bar, for 2010, represents 27,000 youth. 26,000 and 27,000…

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How Many Decimal Places Are Helpful?

How Many Decimal Places Are Helpful?

How many decimal places does your graph actually need? 2, 1 or 0 decimal places? Most of my projects are in the social sciences. Social science measurement is not exact. We’re often creating instruments and tools from scratch to gather information. There are no rulers,…

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The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Spreadsheets

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Spreadsheets

If you use spreadsheets on a daily basis, this post isn’t for you. Within the past year I’ve led 61 trainings (and counting!) about both data analysis/statistics and data visualization. In each session, there’s one person who’s enthusiastically eager to learn but has almost zero experience…

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Directly Labeling Your Line Graphs

Directly Labeling Your Line Graphs

I recently saw this graph at http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/21/357629765/when-women-stopped-coding. The topic caught my attention but the labels made me cringe. This graph is challenging to read in color (which turquoise category goes with which line?) and would be impossible to read when printed or photocopied in black…

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Removing Graph Clutter: Don’t Forget the Leader Lines

Removing Graph Clutter: Don’t Forget the Leader Lines

Software typically gets better with time. New graph types are added, more color palettes are available, and editing tools are easier to locate and faster to use. Excel 2013’s leader lines are an exception. Leader lines are those gray or black lines that connect the labels with…

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