10 Methods of Data Presentation with 5 Great Tips to Practice, Best in 2024

Leah Nguyen • 05 April, 2024 • 17 min read

There are different ways of presenting data, so which one is suited you the most? You can end deathly boring and ineffective data presentation right now with our 10 methods of data presentation . Check out the examples from each technique!

Have you ever presented a data report to your boss/coworkers/teachers thinking it was super dope like you’re some cyber hacker living in the Matrix, but all they saw was a pile of static numbers that seemed pointless and didn’t make sense to them?

Understanding digits is rigid . Making people from non-analytical backgrounds understand those digits is even more challenging.

How can you clear up those confusing numbers in the types of presentation that have the flawless clarity of a diamond? So, let’s check out best way to present data. 💎

Table of Contents

  • What are Methods of Data Presentations?
  • #1 – Tabular

#3 – Pie chart

#4 – bar chart, #5 – histogram, #6 – line graph, #7 – pictogram graph, #8 – radar chart, #9 – heat map, #10 – scatter plot.

  • 5 Mistakes to Avoid
  • Best Method of Data Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are Methods of Data Presentation?

The term ’data presentation’ relates to the way you present data in a way that makes even the most clueless person in the room understand. 

Some say it’s witchcraft (you’re manipulating the numbers in some ways), but we’ll just say it’s the power of turning dry, hard numbers or digits into a visual showcase that is easy for people to digest.

Presenting data correctly can help your audience understand complicated processes, identify trends, and instantly pinpoint whatever is going on without exhausting their brains.

Good data presentation helps…

  • Make informed decisions and arrive at positive outcomes . If you see the sales of your product steadily increase throughout the years, it’s best to keep milking it or start turning it into a bunch of spin-offs (shoutout to Star Wars👀).
  • Reduce the time spent processing data . Humans can digest information graphically 60,000 times faster than in the form of text. Grant them the power of skimming through a decade of data in minutes with some extra spicy graphs and charts.
  • Communicate the results clearly . Data does not lie. They’re based on factual evidence and therefore if anyone keeps whining that you might be wrong, slap them with some hard data to keep their mouths shut.
  • Add to or expand the current research . You can see what areas need improvement, as well as what details often go unnoticed while surfing through those little lines, dots or icons that appear on the data board.

Methods of Data Presentation and Examples

Imagine you have a delicious pepperoni, extra-cheese pizza. You can decide to cut it into the classic 8 triangle slices, the party style 12 square slices, or get creative and abstract on those slices. 

There are various ways for cutting a pizza and you get the same variety with how you present your data. In this section, we will bring you the 10 ways to slice a pizza – we mean to present your data – that will make your company’s most important asset as clear as day. Let’s dive into 10 ways to present data efficiently.

#1 – Tabular 

Among various types of data presentation, tabular is the most fundamental method, with data presented in rows and columns. Excel or Google Sheets would qualify for the job. Nothing fancy.

a table displaying the changes in revenue between the year 2017 and 2018 in the East, West, North, and South region

This is an example of a tabular presentation of data on Google Sheets. Each row and column has an attribute (year, region, revenue, etc.), and you can do a custom format to see the change in revenue throughout the year.

When presenting data as text, all you do is write your findings down in paragraphs and bullet points, and that’s it. A piece of cake to you, a tough nut to crack for whoever has to go through all of the reading to get to the point.

  • 65% of email users worldwide access their email via a mobile device.
  • Emails that are optimised for mobile generate 15% higher click-through rates.
  • 56% of brands using emojis in their email subject lines had a higher open rate.

(Source: CustomerThermometer )

All the above quotes present statistical information in textual form. Since not many people like going through a wall of texts, you’ll have to figure out another route when deciding to use this method, such as breaking the data down into short, clear statements, or even as catchy puns if you’ve got the time to think of them.

A pie chart (or a ‘donut chart’ if you stick a hole in the middle of it) is a circle divided into slices that show the relative sizes of data within a whole. If you’re using it to show percentages, make sure all the slices add up to 100%.

Methods of data presentation

The pie chart is a familiar face at every party and is usually recognised by most people. However, one setback of using this method is our eyes sometimes can’t identify the differences in slices of a circle, and it’s nearly impossible to compare similar slices from two different pie charts, making them the villains in the eyes of data analysts.

a half-eaten pie chart

Bonus example: A literal ‘pie’ chart! 🥧

The bar chart is a chart that presents a bunch of items from the same category, usually in the form of rectangular bars that are placed at an equal distance from each other. Their heights or lengths depict the values they represent.

They can be as simple as this:

a simple bar chart example

Or more complex and detailed like this example of presentation of data. Contributing to an effective statistic presentation, this one is a grouped bar chart that not only allows you to compare categories but also the groups within them as well.

an example of a grouped bar chart

Similar in appearance to the bar chart but the rectangular bars in histograms don’t often have the gap like their counterparts.

Instead of measuring categories like weather preferences or favourite films as a bar chart does, a histogram only measures things that can be put into numbers.

an example of a histogram chart showing the distribution of students' score for the IQ test

Teachers can use presentation graphs like a histogram to see which score group most of the students fall into, like in this example above.

Recordings to ways of displaying data, we shouldn’t overlook the effectiveness of line graphs. Line graphs are represented by a group of data points joined together by a straight line. There can be one or more lines to compare how several related things change over time. 

an example of the line graph showing the population of bears from 2017 to 2022

On a line chart’s horizontal axis, you usually have text labels, dates or years, while the vertical axis usually represents the quantity (e.g.: budget, temperature or percentage).

A pictogram graph uses pictures or icons relating to the main topic to visualise a small dataset. The fun combination of colours and illustrations makes it a frequent use at schools.

How to Create Pictographs and Icon Arrays in Visme-6 pictograph maker

Pictograms are a breath of fresh air if you want to stay away from the monotonous line chart or bar chart for a while. However, they can present a very limited amount of data and sometimes they are only there for displays and do not represent real statistics.

If presenting five or more variables in the form of a bar chart is too stuffy then you should try using a radar chart, which is one of the most creative ways to present data.

Radar charts show data in terms of how they compare to each other starting from the same point. Some also call them ‘spider charts’ because each aspect combined looks like a spider web.

a radar chart showing the text scores between two students

Radar charts can be a great use for parents who’d like to compare their child’s grades with their peers to lower their self-esteem. You can see that each angular represents a subject with a score value ranging from 0 to 100. Each student’s score across 5 subjects is highlighted in a different colour.

a radar chart showing the power distribution of a Pokemon

If you think that this method of data presentation somehow feels familiar, then you’ve probably encountered one while playing Pokémon .

A heat map represents data density in colours. The bigger the number, the more colour intense that data will be represented.

a heatmap showing the electoral votes among the states between two candidates

Most U.S citizens would be familiar with this data presentation method in geography. For elections, many news outlets assign a specific colour code to a state, with blue representing one candidate and red representing the other. The shade of either blue or red in each state shows the strength of the overall vote in that state.

a heatmap showing which parts the visitors click on in a website

Another great thing you can use a heat map for is to map what visitors to your site click on. The more a particular section is clicked the ‘hotter’ the colour will turn, from blue to bright yellow to red.

If you present your data in dots instead of chunky bars, you’ll have a scatter plot. 

A scatter plot is a grid with several inputs showing the relationship between two variables. It’s good at collecting seemingly random data and revealing some telling trends.

a scatter plot example showing the relationship between beach visitors each day and the average daily temperature

For example, in this graph, each dot shows the average daily temperature versus the number of beach visitors across several days. You can see that the dots get higher as the temperature increases, so it’s likely that hotter weather leads to more visitors.

5 Data Presentation Mistakes to Avoid

#1 – assume your audience understands what the numbers represent.

You may know all the behind-the-scenes of your data since you’ve worked with them for weeks, but your audience doesn’t.

a sales data board from Looker

Showing without telling only invites more and more questions from your audience, as they have to constantly make sense of your data, wasting the time of both sides as a result.

While showing your data presentations, you should tell them what the data are about before hitting them with waves of numbers first. You can use interactive activities such as polls , word clouds , online quiz and Q&A sections , combined with icebreaker games , to assess their understanding of the data and address any confusion beforehand.

#2 – Use the wrong type of chart

Charts such as pie charts must have a total of 100% so if your numbers accumulate to 193% like this example below, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

a bad example of using a pie chart in the 2012 presidential run

Before making a chart, ask yourself: what do I want to accomplish with my data? Do you want to see the relationship between the data sets, show the up and down trends of your data, or see how segments of one thing make up a whole?

Remember, clarity always comes first. Some data visualisations may look cool, but if they don’t fit your data, steer clear of them. 

#3 – Make it 3D

3D is a fascinating graphical presentation example. The third dimension is cool, but full of risks.

different types of data presentation methods

Can you see what’s behind those red bars? Because we can’t either. You may think that 3D charts add more depth to the design, but they can create false perceptions as our eyes see 3D objects closer and bigger than they appear, not to mention they cannot be seen from multiple angles.

#4 – Use different types of charts to compare contents in the same category

different types of data presentation methods

This is like comparing a fish to a monkey. Your audience won’t be able to identify the differences and make an appropriate correlation between the two data sets. 

Next time, stick to one type of data presentation only. Avoid the temptation of trying various data visualisation methods in one go and make your data as accessible as possible.

#5 – Bombard the audience with too much information

The goal of data presentation is to make complex topics much easier to understand, and if you’re bringing too much information to the table, you’re missing the point.

a very complicated data presentation with too much information on the screen

The more information you give, the more time it will take for your audience to process it all. If you want to make your data understandable and give your audience a chance to remember it, keep the information within it to an absolute minimum. You should set your session with open-ended questions , to avoid dead-communication!

What are the Best Methods of Data Presentation?

Finally, which is the best way to present data?

The answer is…

There is none 😄 Each type of presentation has its own strengths and weaknesses and the one you choose greatly depends on what you’re trying to do. 

For example:

  • Go for a scatter plot if you’re exploring the relationship between different data values, like seeing whether the sales of ice cream go up because of the temperature or because people are just getting more hungry and greedy each day?
  • Go for a line graph if you want to mark a trend over time. 
  • Go for a heat map if you like some fancy visualisation of the changes in a geographical location, or to see your visitors’ behaviour on your website.
  • Go for a pie chart (especially in 3D) if you want to be shunned by others because it was never a good idea👇

example of how a bad pie chart represents the data in a complicated way

What is chart presentation?

A chart presentation is a way of presenting data or information using visual aids such as charts, graphs, and diagrams. The purpose of a chart presentation is to make complex information more accessible and understandable for the audience.

When can I use charts for presentation?

Charts can be used to compare data, show trends over time, highlight patterns, and simplify complex information.

Why should use charts for presentation?

You should use charts to ensure your contents and visual look clean, as they are the visual representative, provide clarity, simplicity, comparison, contrast and super time-saving!

What are the 4 graphical methods of presenting data?

Histogram, Smoothed frequency graph, Pie diagram or Pie chart, Cumulative or ogive frequency graph, and Frequency Polygon.

Leah Nguyen

Leah Nguyen

Words that convert, stories that stick. I turn complex ideas into engaging narratives - helping audiences learn, remember, and take action.

Tips to Engage with Polls & Trivia

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Data presentation: A comprehensive guide

Learn how to create data presentation effectively and communicate your insights in a way that is clear, concise, and engaging.

Raja Bothra

Building presentations

team preparing data presentation

Hey there, fellow data enthusiast!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on data presentation.

Whether you're an experienced presenter or just starting, this guide will help you present your data like a pro.

We'll dive deep into what data presentation is, why it's crucial, and how to master it. So, let's embark on this data-driven journey together.

What is data presentation?

Data presentation is the art of transforming raw data into a visual format that's easy to understand and interpret. It's like turning numbers and statistics into a captivating story that your audience can quickly grasp. When done right, data presentation can be a game-changer, enabling you to convey complex information effectively.

Why are data presentations important?

Imagine drowning in a sea of numbers and figures. That's how your audience might feel without proper data presentation. Here's why it's essential:

  • Clarity : Data presentations make complex information clear and concise.
  • Engagement : Visuals, such as charts and graphs, grab your audience's attention.
  • Comprehension : Visual data is easier to understand than long, numerical reports.
  • Decision-making : Well-presented data aids informed decision-making.
  • Impact : It leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

Types of data presentation

Now, let's delve into the diverse array of data presentation methods, each with its own unique strengths and applications. We have three primary types of data presentation, and within these categories, numerous specific visualization techniques can be employed to effectively convey your data.

1. Textual presentation

Textual presentation harnesses the power of words and sentences to elucidate and contextualize your data. This method is commonly used to provide a narrative framework for the data, offering explanations, insights, and the broader implications of your findings. It serves as a foundation for a deeper understanding of the data's significance.

2. Tabular presentation

Tabular presentation employs tables to arrange and structure your data systematically. These tables are invaluable for comparing various data groups or illustrating how data evolves over time. They present information in a neat and organized format, facilitating straightforward comparisons and reference points.

3. Graphical presentation

Graphical presentation harnesses the visual impact of charts and graphs to breathe life into your data. Charts and graphs are powerful tools for spotlighting trends, patterns, and relationships hidden within the data. Let's explore some common graphical presentation methods:

  • Bar charts: They are ideal for comparing different categories of data. In this method, each category is represented by a distinct bar, and the height of the bar corresponds to the value it represents. Bar charts provide a clear and intuitive way to discern differences between categories.
  • Pie charts: It excel at illustrating the relative proportions of different data categories. Each category is depicted as a slice of the pie, with the size of each slice corresponding to the percentage of the total value it represents. Pie charts are particularly effective for showcasing the distribution of data.
  • Line graphs: They are the go-to choice when showcasing how data evolves over time. Each point on the line represents a specific value at a particular time period. This method enables viewers to track trends and fluctuations effortlessly, making it perfect for visualizing data with temporal dimensions.
  • Scatter plots: They are the tool of choice when exploring the relationship between two variables. In this method, each point on the plot represents a pair of values for the two variables in question. Scatter plots help identify correlations, outliers, and patterns within data pairs.

The selection of the most suitable data presentation method hinges on the specific dataset and the presentation's objectives. For instance, when comparing sales figures of different products, a bar chart shines in its simplicity and clarity. On the other hand, if your aim is to display how a product's sales have changed over time, a line graph provides the ideal visual narrative.

Additionally, it's crucial to factor in your audience's level of familiarity with data presentations. For a technical audience, more intricate visualization methods may be appropriate. However, when presenting to a general audience, opting for straightforward and easily understandable visuals is often the wisest choice.

In the world of data presentation, choosing the right method is akin to selecting the perfect brush for a masterpiece. Each tool has its place, and understanding when and how to use them is key to crafting compelling and insightful presentations. So, consider your data carefully, align your purpose, and paint a vivid picture that resonates with your audience.

What to include in data presentation

When creating your data presentation, remember these key components:

  • Data points : Clearly state the data points you're presenting.
  • Comparison : Highlight comparisons and trends in your data.
  • Graphical methods : Choose the right chart or graph for your data.
  • Infographics : Use visuals like infographics to make information more digestible.
  • Numerical values : Include numerical values to support your visuals.
  • Qualitative information : Explain the significance of the data.
  • Source citation : Always cite your data sources.

How to structure an effective data presentation

Creating a well-structured data presentation is not just important; it's the backbone of a successful presentation. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you craft a compelling and organized presentation that captivates your audience:

1. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is paramount. Consider their needs, interests, and existing knowledge about your topic. Tailor your presentation to their level of understanding, ensuring that it resonates with them on a personal level. Relevance is the key.

2. Have a clear message

Every effective data presentation should convey a clear and concise message. Determine what you want your audience to learn or take away from your presentation, and make sure your message is the guiding light throughout your presentation. Ensure that all your data points align with and support this central message.

3. Tell a compelling story

Human beings are naturally wired to remember stories. Incorporate storytelling techniques into your presentation to make your data more relatable and memorable. Your data can be the backbone of a captivating narrative, whether it's about a trend, a problem, or a solution. Take your audience on a journey through your data.

4. Leverage visuals

Visuals are a powerful tool in data presentation. They make complex information accessible and engaging. Utilize charts, graphs, and images to illustrate your points and enhance the visual appeal of your presentation. Visuals should not just be an accessory; they should be an integral part of your storytelling.

5. Be clear and concise

Avoid jargon or technical language that your audience may not comprehend. Use plain language and explain your data points clearly. Remember, clarity is king. Each piece of information should be easy for your audience to digest.

6. Practice your delivery

Practice makes perfect. Rehearse your presentation multiple times before the actual delivery. This will help you deliver it smoothly and confidently, reducing the chances of stumbling over your words or losing track of your message.

A basic structure for an effective data presentation

Armed with a comprehensive comprehension of how to construct a compelling data presentation, you can now utilize this fundamental template for guidance:

In the introduction, initiate your presentation by introducing both yourself and the topic at hand. Clearly articulate your main message or the fundamental concept you intend to communicate.

Moving on to the body of your presentation, organize your data in a coherent and easily understandable sequence. Employ visuals generously to elucidate your points and weave a narrative that enhances the overall story. Ensure that the arrangement of your data aligns with and reinforces your central message.

As you approach the conclusion, succinctly recapitulate your key points and emphasize your core message once more. Conclude by leaving your audience with a distinct and memorable takeaway, ensuring that your presentation has a lasting impact.

Additional tips for enhancing your data presentation

To take your data presentation to the next level, consider these additional tips:

  • Consistent design : Maintain a uniform design throughout your presentation. This not only enhances visual appeal but also aids in seamless comprehension.
  • High-quality visuals : Ensure that your visuals are of high quality, easy to read, and directly relevant to your topic.
  • Concise text : Avoid overwhelming your slides with excessive text. Focus on the most critical points, using visuals to support and elaborate.
  • Anticipate questions : Think ahead about the questions your audience might pose. Be prepared with well-thought-out answers to foster productive discussions.

By following these guidelines, you can structure an effective data presentation that not only informs but also engages and inspires your audience. Remember, a well-structured presentation is the bridge that connects your data to your audience's understanding and appreciation.

Do’s and don'ts on a data presentation

  • Use visuals : Incorporate charts and graphs to enhance understanding.
  • Keep it simple : Avoid clutter and complexity.
  • Highlight key points : Emphasize crucial data.
  • Engage the audience : Encourage questions and discussions.
  • Practice : Rehearse your presentation.

Don'ts:

  • Overload with data : Less is often more; don't overwhelm your audience.
  • Fit Unrelated data : Stay on topic; don't include irrelevant information.
  • Neglect the audience : Ensure your presentation suits your audience's level of expertise.
  • Read word-for-word : Avoid reading directly from slides.
  • Lose focus : Stick to your presentation's purpose.

Summarizing key takeaways

  • Definition : Data presentation is the art of visualizing complex data for better understanding.
  • Importance : Data presentations enhance clarity, engage the audience, aid decision-making, and leave a lasting impact.
  • Types : Textual, Tabular, and Graphical presentations offer various ways to present data.
  • Choosing methods : Select the right method based on data, audience, and purpose.
  • Components : Include data points, comparisons, visuals, infographics, numerical values, and source citations.
  • Structure : Know your audience, have a clear message, tell a compelling story, use visuals, be concise, and practice.
  • Do's and don'ts : Do use visuals, keep it simple, highlight key points, engage the audience, and practice. Don't overload with data, include unrelated information, neglect the audience's expertise, read word-for-word, or lose focus.

1. What is data presentation, and why is it important in 2023?

Data presentation is the process of visually representing data sets to convey information effectively to an audience. In an era where the amount of data generated is vast, visually presenting data using methods such as diagrams, graphs, and charts has become crucial. By simplifying complex data sets, presentation of the data may helps your audience quickly grasp much information without drowning in a sea of chart's, analytics, facts and figures.

2. What are some common methods of data presentation?

There are various methods of data presentation, including graphs and charts, histograms, and cumulative frequency polygons. Each method has its strengths and is often used depending on the type of data you're using and the message you want to convey. For instance, if you want to show data over time, try using a line graph. If you're presenting geographical data, consider to use a heat map.

3. How can I ensure that my data presentation is clear and readable?

To ensure that your data presentation is clear and readable, pay attention to the design and labeling of your charts. Don't forget to label the axes appropriately, as they are critical for understanding the values they represent. Don't fit all the information in one slide or in a single paragraph. Presentation software like Prezent and PowerPoint can help you simplify your vertical axis, charts and tables, making them much easier to understand.

4. What are some common mistakes presenters make when presenting data?

One common mistake is trying to fit too much data into a single chart, which can distort the information and confuse the audience. Another mistake is not considering the needs of the audience. Remember that your audience won't have the same level of familiarity with the data as you do, so it's essential to present the data effectively and respond to questions during a Q&A session.

5. How can I use data visualization to present important data effectively on platforms like LinkedIn?

When presenting data on platforms like LinkedIn, consider using eye-catching visuals like bar graphs or charts. Use concise captions and e.g., examples to highlight the single most important information in your data report. Visuals, such as graphs and tables, can help you stand out in the sea of textual content, making your data presentation more engaging and shareable among your LinkedIn connections.

Create your data presentation with prezent

Prezent can be a valuable tool for creating data presentations. Here's how Prezent can help you in this regard:

  • Time savings : Prezent saves up to 70% of presentation creation time, allowing you to focus on data analysis and insights.
  • On-brand consistency : Ensure 100% brand alignment with Prezent's brand-approved designs for professional-looking data presentations.
  • Effortless collaboration : Real-time sharing and collaboration features make it easy for teams to work together on data presentations.
  • Data storytelling : Choose from 50+ storylines to effectively communicate data insights and engage your audience.
  • Personalization : Create tailored data presentations that resonate with your audience's preferences, enhancing the impact of your data.

In summary, Prezent streamlines the process of creating data presentations by offering time-saving features, ensuring brand consistency, promoting collaboration, and providing tools for effective data storytelling. Whether you need to present data to clients, stakeholders, or within your organization, Prezent can significantly enhance your presentation-making process.

So, go ahead, present your data with confidence, and watch your audience be wowed by your expertise.

Thank you for joining us on this data-driven journey. Stay tuned for more insights, and remember, data presentation is your ticket to making numbers come alive!

Sign up for our free trial or book a demo !

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different types of data presentation methods

It is the simplest form of data Presentation often used in schools or universities to provide a clearer picture to students, who are better able to capture the concepts effectively through a pictorial Presentation of simple data.

2. Column chart

different types of data presentation methods

It is a simplified version of the pictorial Presentation which involves the management of a larger amount of data being shared during the presentations and providing suitable clarity to the insights of the data.

3. Pie Charts

pie-chart

Pie charts provide a very descriptive & a 2D depiction of the data pertaining to comparisons or resemblance of data in two separate fields.

4. Bar charts

Bar-Charts

A bar chart that shows the accumulation of data with cuboid bars with different dimensions & lengths which are directly proportionate to the values they represent. The bars can be placed either vertically or horizontally depending on the data being represented.

5. Histograms

different types of data presentation methods

It is a perfect Presentation of the spread of numerical data. The main differentiation that separates data graphs and histograms are the gaps in the data graphs.

6. Box plots

box-plot

Box plot or Box-plot is a way of representing groups of numerical data through quartiles. Data Presentation is easier with this style of graph dealing with the extraction of data to the minutes of difference.

different types of data presentation methods

Map Data graphs help you with data Presentation over an area to display the areas of concern. Map graphs are useful to make an exact depiction of data over a vast case scenario.

All these visual presentations share a common goal of creating meaningful insights and a platform to understand and manage the data in relation to the growth and expansion of one’s in-depth understanding of data & details to plan or execute future decisions or actions.

Importance of Data Presentation

Data Presentation could be both can be a deal maker or deal breaker based on the delivery of the content in the context of visual depiction.

Data Presentation tools are powerful communication tools that can simplify the data by making it easily understandable & readable at the same time while attracting & keeping the interest of its readers and effectively showcase large amounts of complex data in a simplified manner.

If the user can create an insightful presentation of the data in hand with the same sets of facts and figures, then the results promise to be impressive.

There have been situations where the user has had a great amount of data and vision for expansion but the presentation drowned his/her vision.

To impress the higher management and top brass of a firm, effective presentation of data is needed.

Data Presentation helps the clients or the audience to not spend time grasping the concept and the future alternatives of the business and to convince them to invest in the company & turn it profitable both for the investors & the company.

Although data presentation has a lot to offer, the following are some of the major reason behind the essence of an effective presentation:-

  • Many consumers or higher authorities are interested in the interpretation of data, not the raw data itself. Therefore, after the analysis of the data, users should represent the data with a visual aspect for better understanding and knowledge.
  • The user should not overwhelm the audience with a number of slides of the presentation and inject an ample amount of texts as pictures that will speak for themselves.
  • Data presentation often happens in a nutshell with each department showcasing their achievements towards company growth through a graph or a histogram.
  • Providing a brief description would help the user to attain attention in a small amount of time while informing the audience about the context of the presentation
  • The inclusion of pictures, charts, graphs and tables in the presentation help for better understanding the potential outcomes.
  • An effective presentation would allow the organization to determine the difference with the fellow organization and acknowledge its flaws. Comparison of data would assist them in decision making.

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Present Your Data Like a Pro

  • Joel Schwartzberg

different types of data presentation methods

Demystify the numbers. Your audience will thank you.

While a good presentation has data, data alone doesn’t guarantee a good presentation. It’s all about how that data is presented. The quickest way to confuse your audience is by sharing too many details at once. The only data points you should share are those that significantly support your point — and ideally, one point per chart. To avoid the debacle of sheepishly translating hard-to-see numbers and labels, rehearse your presentation with colleagues sitting as far away as the actual audience would. While you’ve been working with the same chart for weeks or months, your audience will be exposed to it for mere seconds. Give them the best chance of comprehending your data by using simple, clear, and complete language to identify X and Y axes, pie pieces, bars, and other diagrammatic elements. Try to avoid abbreviations that aren’t obvious, and don’t assume labeled components on one slide will be remembered on subsequent slides. Every valuable chart or pie graph has an “Aha!” zone — a number or range of data that reveals something crucial to your point. Make sure you visually highlight the “Aha!” zone, reinforcing the moment by explaining it to your audience.

With so many ways to spin and distort information these days, a presentation needs to do more than simply share great ideas — it needs to support those ideas with credible data. That’s true whether you’re an executive pitching new business clients, a vendor selling her services, or a CEO making a case for change.

different types of data presentation methods

  • JS Joel Schwartzberg oversees executive communications for a major national nonprofit, is a professional presentation coach, and is the author of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter and The Language of Leadership: How to Engage and Inspire Your Team . You can find him on LinkedIn and X. TheJoelTruth

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Module 1: An Introduction to Data Literacy and Data Visualization

Methods of Data Presentation

Once data has been collected and analyzed, there are many different ways you can communicate those results:

  • Write a report describing your results
  • Organize your results into a table
  • Display your results visually in a chart or infographic

For example, if a university wanted to find out if their students preferred virtual or in-person classes, they might conduct a survey. That survey might ask students if they prefer attending their classes virtually or in-person, but would probably also include an option for students who wanted to do a mix of both and students who didn’t have a strong preference.

When the data is ready to be presented, it could be written in text, perhaps as part of a report:

“Of the 1260 students surveyed, 560 students stated a preference for attending their classes virtually, 440 preferred in-person, 1006 stated that they would prefer a mix of both virtual and in-person classes and 194 did not have a strong preference.”

This is a simple way of presenting the data, but does require reading through quite a bit of text, and doesn’t allow for easy comparison between the results.

To really focus in on the numbers, this information could also be presented in a table, as in Table 1.1 below.

The advantage of presenting this data in a table is that it’s all about the numbers. This table makes it clear that most students prefer a mix of virtual and in-person classes. However, it still doesn’t allow for immediate comparison between all of the results. When you are looking to compare more than two numbers, it is often better to present the data in a more visual way.

To make it easier to compare the results, this information could also be presented visually in a bar graph [1] (see Figure 1.2 below).

From looking at this graph, it is clear straight away that most students prefer a mix of virtual and in-person classes. This illustrates how powerful data visualizations can be; you can tell a clear story without using words or numbers.

Key Takeaways

There are three main methods of data presentation:

  • Author: Nora Mulvaney, License CC0 1.0 https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ ↵

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17 Data Visualization Techniques All Professionals Should Know

Data Visualizations on a Page

  • 17 Sep 2019

There’s a growing demand for business analytics and data expertise in the workforce. But you don’t need to be a professional analyst to benefit from data-related skills.

Becoming skilled at common data visualization techniques can help you reap the rewards of data-driven decision-making , including increased confidence and potential cost savings. Learning how to effectively visualize data could be the first step toward using data analytics and data science to your advantage to add value to your organization.

Several data visualization techniques can help you become more effective in your role. Here are 17 essential data visualization techniques all professionals should know, as well as tips to help you effectively present your data.

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What Is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the process of creating graphical representations of information. This process helps the presenter communicate data in a way that’s easy for the viewer to interpret and draw conclusions.

There are many different techniques and tools you can leverage to visualize data, so you want to know which ones to use and when. Here are some of the most important data visualization techniques all professionals should know.

Data Visualization Techniques

The type of data visualization technique you leverage will vary based on the type of data you’re working with, in addition to the story you’re telling with your data .

Here are some important data visualization techniques to know:

  • Gantt Chart
  • Box and Whisker Plot
  • Waterfall Chart
  • Scatter Plot
  • Pictogram Chart
  • Highlight Table
  • Bullet Graph
  • Choropleth Map
  • Network Diagram
  • Correlation Matrices

1. Pie Chart

Pie Chart Example

Pie charts are one of the most common and basic data visualization techniques, used across a wide range of applications. Pie charts are ideal for illustrating proportions, or part-to-whole comparisons.

Because pie charts are relatively simple and easy to read, they’re best suited for audiences who might be unfamiliar with the information or are only interested in the key takeaways. For viewers who require a more thorough explanation of the data, pie charts fall short in their ability to display complex information.

2. Bar Chart

Bar Chart Example

The classic bar chart , or bar graph, is another common and easy-to-use method of data visualization. In this type of visualization, one axis of the chart shows the categories being compared, and the other, a measured value. The length of the bar indicates how each group measures according to the value.

One drawback is that labeling and clarity can become problematic when there are too many categories included. Like pie charts, they can also be too simple for more complex data sets.

3. Histogram

Histogram Example

Unlike bar charts, histograms illustrate the distribution of data over a continuous interval or defined period. These visualizations are helpful in identifying where values are concentrated, as well as where there are gaps or unusual values.

Histograms are especially useful for showing the frequency of a particular occurrence. For instance, if you’d like to show how many clicks your website received each day over the last week, you can use a histogram. From this visualization, you can quickly determine which days your website saw the greatest and fewest number of clicks.

4. Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart Example

Gantt charts are particularly common in project management, as they’re useful in illustrating a project timeline or progression of tasks. In this type of chart, tasks to be performed are listed on the vertical axis and time intervals on the horizontal axis. Horizontal bars in the body of the chart represent the duration of each activity.

Utilizing Gantt charts to display timelines can be incredibly helpful, and enable team members to keep track of every aspect of a project. Even if you’re not a project management professional, familiarizing yourself with Gantt charts can help you stay organized.

5. Heat Map

Heat Map Example

A heat map is a type of visualization used to show differences in data through variations in color. These charts use color to communicate values in a way that makes it easy for the viewer to quickly identify trends. Having a clear legend is necessary in order for a user to successfully read and interpret a heatmap.

There are many possible applications of heat maps. For example, if you want to analyze which time of day a retail store makes the most sales, you can use a heat map that shows the day of the week on the vertical axis and time of day on the horizontal axis. Then, by shading in the matrix with colors that correspond to the number of sales at each time of day, you can identify trends in the data that allow you to determine the exact times your store experiences the most sales.

6. A Box and Whisker Plot

Box and Whisker Plot Example

A box and whisker plot , or box plot, provides a visual summary of data through its quartiles. First, a box is drawn from the first quartile to the third of the data set. A line within the box represents the median. “Whiskers,” or lines, are then drawn extending from the box to the minimum (lower extreme) and maximum (upper extreme). Outliers are represented by individual points that are in-line with the whiskers.

This type of chart is helpful in quickly identifying whether or not the data is symmetrical or skewed, as well as providing a visual summary of the data set that can be easily interpreted.

7. Waterfall Chart

Waterfall Chart Example

A waterfall chart is a visual representation that illustrates how a value changes as it’s influenced by different factors, such as time. The main goal of this chart is to show the viewer how a value has grown or declined over a defined period. For example, waterfall charts are popular for showing spending or earnings over time.

8. Area Chart

Area Chart Example

An area chart , or area graph, is a variation on a basic line graph in which the area underneath the line is shaded to represent the total value of each data point. When several data series must be compared on the same graph, stacked area charts are used.

This method of data visualization is useful for showing changes in one or more quantities over time, as well as showing how each quantity combines to make up the whole. Stacked area charts are effective in showing part-to-whole comparisons.

9. Scatter Plot

Scatter Plot Example

Another technique commonly used to display data is a scatter plot . A scatter plot displays data for two variables as represented by points plotted against the horizontal and vertical axis. This type of data visualization is useful in illustrating the relationships that exist between variables and can be used to identify trends or correlations in data.

Scatter plots are most effective for fairly large data sets, since it’s often easier to identify trends when there are more data points present. Additionally, the closer the data points are grouped together, the stronger the correlation or trend tends to be.

10. Pictogram Chart

Pictogram Example

Pictogram charts , or pictograph charts, are particularly useful for presenting simple data in a more visual and engaging way. These charts use icons to visualize data, with each icon representing a different value or category. For example, data about time might be represented by icons of clocks or watches. Each icon can correspond to either a single unit or a set number of units (for example, each icon represents 100 units).

In addition to making the data more engaging, pictogram charts are helpful in situations where language or cultural differences might be a barrier to the audience’s understanding of the data.

11. Timeline

Timeline Example

Timelines are the most effective way to visualize a sequence of events in chronological order. They’re typically linear, with key events outlined along the axis. Timelines are used to communicate time-related information and display historical data.

Timelines allow you to highlight the most important events that occurred, or need to occur in the future, and make it easy for the viewer to identify any patterns appearing within the selected time period. While timelines are often relatively simple linear visualizations, they can be made more visually appealing by adding images, colors, fonts, and decorative shapes.

12. Highlight Table

Highlight Table Example

A highlight table is a more engaging alternative to traditional tables. By highlighting cells in the table with color, you can make it easier for viewers to quickly spot trends and patterns in the data. These visualizations are useful for comparing categorical data.

Depending on the data visualization tool you’re using, you may be able to add conditional formatting rules to the table that automatically color cells that meet specified conditions. For instance, when using a highlight table to visualize a company’s sales data, you may color cells red if the sales data is below the goal, or green if sales were above the goal. Unlike a heat map, the colors in a highlight table are discrete and represent a single meaning or value.

13. Bullet Graph

Bullet Graph Example

A bullet graph is a variation of a bar graph that can act as an alternative to dashboard gauges to represent performance data. The main use for a bullet graph is to inform the viewer of how a business is performing in comparison to benchmarks that are in place for key business metrics.

In a bullet graph, the darker horizontal bar in the middle of the chart represents the actual value, while the vertical line represents a comparative value, or target. If the horizontal bar passes the vertical line, the target for that metric has been surpassed. Additionally, the segmented colored sections behind the horizontal bar represent range scores, such as “poor,” “fair,” or “good.”

14. Choropleth Maps

Choropleth Map Example

A choropleth map uses color, shading, and other patterns to visualize numerical values across geographic regions. These visualizations use a progression of color (or shading) on a spectrum to distinguish high values from low.

Choropleth maps allow viewers to see how a variable changes from one region to the next. A potential downside to this type of visualization is that the exact numerical values aren’t easily accessible because the colors represent a range of values. Some data visualization tools, however, allow you to add interactivity to your map so the exact values are accessible.

15. Word Cloud

Word Cloud Example

A word cloud , or tag cloud, is a visual representation of text data in which the size of the word is proportional to its frequency. The more often a specific word appears in a dataset, the larger it appears in the visualization. In addition to size, words often appear bolder or follow a specific color scheme depending on their frequency.

Word clouds are often used on websites and blogs to identify significant keywords and compare differences in textual data between two sources. They are also useful when analyzing qualitative datasets, such as the specific words consumers used to describe a product.

16. Network Diagram

Network Diagram Example

Network diagrams are a type of data visualization that represent relationships between qualitative data points. These visualizations are composed of nodes and links, also called edges. Nodes are singular data points that are connected to other nodes through edges, which show the relationship between multiple nodes.

There are many use cases for network diagrams, including depicting social networks, highlighting the relationships between employees at an organization, or visualizing product sales across geographic regions.

17. Correlation Matrix

Correlation Matrix Example

A correlation matrix is a table that shows correlation coefficients between variables. Each cell represents the relationship between two variables, and a color scale is used to communicate whether the variables are correlated and to what extent.

Correlation matrices are useful to summarize and find patterns in large data sets. In business, a correlation matrix might be used to analyze how different data points about a specific product might be related, such as price, advertising spend, launch date, etc.

Other Data Visualization Options

While the examples listed above are some of the most commonly used techniques, there are many other ways you can visualize data to become a more effective communicator. Some other data visualization options include:

  • Bubble clouds
  • Circle views
  • Dendrograms
  • Dot distribution maps
  • Open-high-low-close charts
  • Polar areas
  • Radial trees
  • Ring Charts
  • Sankey diagram
  • Span charts
  • Streamgraphs
  • Wedge stack graphs
  • Violin plots

Business Analytics | Become a data-driven leader | Learn More

Tips For Creating Effective Visualizations

Creating effective data visualizations requires more than just knowing how to choose the best technique for your needs. There are several considerations you should take into account to maximize your effectiveness when it comes to presenting data.

Related : What to Keep in Mind When Creating Data Visualizations in Excel

One of the most important steps is to evaluate your audience. For example, if you’re presenting financial data to a team that works in an unrelated department, you’ll want to choose a fairly simple illustration. On the other hand, if you’re presenting financial data to a team of finance experts, it’s likely you can safely include more complex information.

Another helpful tip is to avoid unnecessary distractions. Although visual elements like animation can be a great way to add interest, they can also distract from the key points the illustration is trying to convey and hinder the viewer’s ability to quickly understand the information.

Finally, be mindful of the colors you utilize, as well as your overall design. While it’s important that your graphs or charts are visually appealing, there are more practical reasons you might choose one color palette over another. For instance, using low contrast colors can make it difficult for your audience to discern differences between data points. Using colors that are too bold, however, can make the illustration overwhelming or distracting for the viewer.

Related : Bad Data Visualization: 5 Examples of Misleading Data

Visuals to Interpret and Share Information

No matter your role or title within an organization, data visualization is a skill that’s important for all professionals. Being able to effectively present complex data through easy-to-understand visual representations is invaluable when it comes to communicating information with members both inside and outside your business.

There’s no shortage in how data visualization can be applied in the real world. Data is playing an increasingly important role in the marketplace today, and data literacy is the first step in understanding how analytics can be used in business.

Are you interested in improving your analytical skills? Learn more about Business Analytics , our eight-week online course that can help you use data to generate insights and tackle business decisions.

This post was updated on January 20, 2022. It was originally published on September 17, 2019.

different types of data presentation methods

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different types of data presentation methods

Top 5 Easy-to-Follow Data Presentation Examples

You’ll agree when we say that poring through numbers is tedious at best and mentally exhausting at worst.

And this is where data presentation examples come in.

data presentation examples

Charts come in and distill data into meaningful insights. And this saves tons of hours, which you can use to relax or execute other tasks. Besides, when creating data stories, you need charts that communicate insights with clarity.

There’re 5 solid and reliable data presentation methods: textual, statistical data presentation, measures of dispersion, tabular, and graphical data representation.

Besides, some of the tested and proven charts for data presentation include:

  • Waterfall Chart
  • Double Bar Graph
  • Slope Chart
  • Treemap Charts
  • Radar Chart
  • Sankey Chart

There’re visualization tools that produce simple, insightful, and ready-made data presentation charts. Yes, you read that right. These tools create charts that complement data stories seamlessly.

Remember, without visualizing data to extract insights, chances of creating a compelling narrative will go down.

Table of Content:

What is data presentation, top 5 data presentation examples:, how to generate sankey chart in excel for data presentation, importance of data presentation in business, benefits of data presentation, what are the top 5 methods of data presentation.

Data presentation is the process of using charts and graphs formats to display insights into data. The insights could be:

  • Relationship
  • Trend and patterns

Data Analysis  and  Data Presentation  have a practical implementation in every possible field. It can range from academic studies, commercial, industrial , and marketing activities to professional practices .

In its raw form, data can be extremely complicated to decipher. Data presentation examples are an important step toward breaking down data into understandable charts or graphs.

You can use tools (which we’ll talk about later) to analyze raw data.

Once the required information is obtained from the data, the next logical step is to present the data in a graphical presentation.

The presentation is the key to success.

Once you’ve extracted actionable insights, you can craft a compelling data story. Keep reading because we’ll address the following in the coming section: the importance of data presentation in business.

Let’s take a look at the five data presentation examples below:

1. Waterfall Chart

A Waterfall Chart is a graphical representation used to depict the cumulative impact of sequential positive or negative values on a starting point over a designated time frame. It typically consists of a series of horizontal bars, with each bar representing a stage or category in a process.

Waterfall Chart Example

2. Double Bar Graph

data presentation examples using double bar graph

A Double Bar Chart displays more than one data series in clustered horizontal columns.

Each data series shares the same axis labels, so horizontal bars are grouped by category.

Bars directly compare multiple series in a given category. The chart is amazingly easy to read and interpret, even for a non-technical audience.

3. Slope Chart

Slope Charts are simple graphs that quickly and directly show  transitions, changes over time, absolute values, and even rankings .

data presentation examples using slope chart

Besides, they’re also called Slope Graphs .

This is one of the data presentation examples you can use to show the before and after story of variables in your data.

Slope Graphs can be useful when you have two time periods or points of comparison and want to show relative increases and decreases quickly across various categories between two data points.

Take a look at the table below. Can you provide coherent and actionable insights into the table below?

Notice the difference after visualizing the table. You can easily tell the performance of individual segments in:

  • Macy’s Store

data presentation examples using treemap chart

5. Radar Chart

Radar Chart is also known as Spider Chart or Spider Web Chart. A radar chart is very helpful to visualize the comparison between multiple categories and variables.

data presentation examples using sankey chart

A radar Chart is one of the data presentation examples you can use to compare data of two different time ranges e.g. Current vs Previous. Radar Chart with different scales makes it easy for you to identify trends, patterns, and outliers in your data. You can also use Radar Chart to visualize the data of Polar graph equations.

6. Sankey Chart

data presentation examples using sankey chart

You can use Sankey Chart to visualize data with flow-like attributes, such as material, energy, cost, etc.

This chart draws the reader’s attention to the enormous flows, the largest consumer, the major losses , and other insights.

The aforementioned visualization design is one of the data presentation examples that use links and nodes to uncover hidden insights into relationships between critical metrics.

The size of a node is directly proportionate to the quantity of the data point under review.

So how can you access the data presentation examples (highlighted above)?

Excel is one of the most used tools for visualizing data because it’s easy to use. 

However, you cannot access ready-made and visually appealing data presentation charts for storytelling. But this does not mean you should ditch this freemium data visualization tool.

Did you know you can supercharge your Excel with add-ins to access visually stunning and ready-to-go data presentation charts?

Yes, you can increase the functionality of your Excel and access ready-made data presentation examples for your data stories.

The add-on we recommend you to use is ChartExpo.

What is ChartExpo?

We recommend this tool (ChartExpo) because it’s super easy to use.

You don’t need to take programming night classes to extract insights from your data. ChartExpo is more of a ‘drag-and-drop tool,’ which means you’ll only need to scroll your mouse and fill in respective metrics and dimensions in your data.

ChartExpo comes with a 7-day free trial period.

The tool produces charts that are incredibly easy to read and interpret . And it allows you to save charts in the world’s most recognized formats, namely PNG and JPG.

In the coming section, we’ll show you how to use ChartExpo to visualize your data with one of the data presentation examples (Sankey).

  To install ChartExpo add-in into your Excel, click this link .

  • Open your Excel and paste the table above.
  • Click the My Apps button.

insert chartexpo in excel

  • Then select ChartExpo and click on  INSERT, as shown below.

open chartexpo in excel

  • Click the Search Box and type “Sankey Chart” .

search chart in excel

  • Once the chart pops up, click on its icon to get started.

create chart in excel

  • Select the sheet holding your data and click the Create Chart from Selection button.

edit chart in excel

How to Edit the Sankey Chart?

  • Click the Edit Chart button, as shown above.

edit chart headert properties in excel

  • Once the Chart Header Properties window shows, click the Line 1 box and fill in your title.

select node color in excel

  • To change the color of the nodes, click the pen-like icons on the nodes.
  • Once the color window shows, select the Node Color and then the Apply button.

save chart in excel

  • Save your changes by clicking the Apply button.
  • Check out the final chart below.

data presentation examples using sankey graph

Data presentation examples are vital, especially when crafting data stories for the top management. Top management can use data presentation charts, such as Sankey, as a backdrop for their decision.

Presentation charts, maps, and graphs are powerful because they simplify data by making it understandable & readable at the same time. Besides, they make data stories compelling and irresistible to target audiences.

Big files with numbers are usually hard to read and make it difficult to spot patterns easily. However, many businesses believe that developing visual reports focused on creating stories around data is unnecessary; they think that the data alone should be sufficient for decision-making.

Visualizing supports this and lightens the decision-making process.

Luckily, there are innovative applications you can use to visualize all the data your company has into dashboards, graphs, and reports. Data visualization helps transform your numbers into an engaging story with details and patterns.

Check out more benefits of data presentation examples below:

1. Easy to understand

You can interpret vast quantities of data clearly and cohesively to draw insights, thanks to graphic representations.

Using data presentation examples, such as charts, managers and decision-makers can easily create and rapidly consume key metrics.

If any of the aforementioned metrics have anomalies — ie. sales are significantly down in one region — decision-makers will easily dig into the data to diagnose the problem.

2. Spot patterns

Data visualization can help you to do trend analysis and respond rapidly on the grounds of what you see.

Such patterns make more sense when graphically represented; because charts make it easier to identify correlated parameters.

3. Data Narratives

You can use data presentation charts, such as Sankey, to build dashboards and turn them into stories.

Data storytelling can help you connect with potential readers and audiences on an emotional level.

4. Speed up the decision-making process

We naturally process visual images 60,000 times faster than text. A graph, chart, or other visual representation of data is more comfortable for our brain to process.

Thanks to our ability to easily interpret visual content, data presentation examples can dramatically improve the speed of decision-making processes.

Take a look at the table below?

Can you give reliable insights into the table above?

Keep reading because we’ll explore easy-to-follow data presentation examples in the coming section. Also, we’ll address the following question: what are the top 5 methods of data presentation?

1. Textual Ways of Presenting Data

Out of the five data presentation examples, this is the simplest one.

Just write your findings coherently and your job is done. The demerit of this method is that one has to read the whole text to get a clear picture.  Yes, you read that right.

The introduction, summary, and conclusion can help condense the information.

2. Statistical data presentation

Data on its own is less valuable. However, for it to be valuable to your business, it has to be:

No matter how well manipulated, the insights into raw data should be presented in an easy-to-follow sequence to keep the audience waiting for more.

Text is the principal method for explaining findings, outlining trends, and providing contextual information. A table is best suited for representing individual information and represents both quantitative and qualitative information.

On the other hand, a graph is a very effective visual tool because:

  • It displays data at a glance
  • Facilitates comparison
  • Reveals trends, relationships, frequency distribution, and correlation

Text, tables, and graphs are incredibly effective data presentation examples you can leverage to curate persuasive data narratives.

3. Measure of Dispersion

Statistical dispersion is how a key metric is likely to deviate from the average value. In other words, dispersion can help you to understand the distribution of key data points.

There are two types of measures of dispersion, namely:

  • Absolute Measure of Dispersion
  • Relative Measure of Dispersion

4. Tabular Ways of Data Presentation and Analysis

To avoid the complexities associated with qualitative data, use tables and charts to display insights.

This is one of the data presentation examples where values are displayed in rows and columns. All rows and columns have an attribute (name, year, gender, and age).

5. Graphical Data Representation

Graphical representation uses charts and graphs to visually display, analyze, clarify, and interpret numerical data, functions, and other qualitative structures.

Data is ingested into charts and graphs, such as Sankey, and then represented by a variety of symbols, such as lines and bars.

Data presentation examples, such as Bar Charts , can help you illustrate trends, relationships, comparisons, and outliers between data points.

What is the main objective of data presentation?

Discovery and communication are the two key objectives of data presentation.

In the discovery phase, we recommend you try various charts and graphs to understand the insights into the raw data. The communication phase is focused on presenting the insights in a summarized form.

What is the importance of graphs and charts in business?

Big files with numbers are usually hard to read and make it difficult to spot patterns easily.

Presentation charts, maps, and graphs are vital because they simplify data by making it understandable & readable at the same time. Besides, they make data stories compelling and irresistible to target audiences.

Poring through numbers is tedious at best and mentally exhausting at worst.

This is where data presentation examples come into play.

Charts come in and distill data into meaningful insights. And this saves tons of hours, which you can use to handle other tasks. Besides, when creating data stories, it would be best if you had charts that communicate insights with clarity.

Excel, one of the popular tools for visualizing data, comes with very basic data presentation charts, which require a lot of editing.

We recommend you try ChartExpo because it’s one of the most trusted add-ins. Besides, it has a super-friendly user interface for everyone, irrespective of their computer skills.

Create simple, ready-made, and easy-to-interpret Bar Charts today without breaking a sweat.

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Data Presentation

Josée Dupuis, PhD, Professor of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health

Wayne LaMorte, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health

Introduction

While graphical summaries of data can certainly be powerful ways of communicating results clearly and unambiguously in a way that facilitates our ability to think about the information, poorly designed graphical displays can be ambiguous, confusing, and downright misleading. The keys to excellence in graphical design and communication are much like the keys to good writing. Adhere to fundamental principles of style and communicate as logically, accurately, and clearly as possible. Excellence in writing is generally achieved by avoiding unnecessary words and paragraphs; it is efficient. In a similar fashion, excellence in graphical presentation is generally achieved by efficient designs that avoid unnecessary ink.

Excellence in graphical presentation depends on:

  • Choosing the best medium for presenting the information
  • Designing the components of the graph in a way that communicates the information as clearly and accurately as possible.

Table or Graph?

  • Tables are generally best if you want to be able to look up specific information or if the values must be reported precisely.
  • Graphics are best for illustrating trends and making comparisons

The side by side illustrations below show the same information, first in table form and then in graphical form. While the information in the table is precise, the real goal is to compare a series of clinical outcomes in subjects taking either a drug or a placebo. The graphical presentation on the right makes it possible to quickly see that for each of the outcomes evaluated, the drug produced relief in a great proportion of subjects. Moreover, the viewer gets a clear sense of the magnitude of improvement, and the error bars provided a sense of the uncertainty in the data.

Principles for Table Display

  • Sort table rows in a meaningful way
  • Avoid alphabetical listing!
  • Use rates, proportions or ratios in addition (or instead of) totals
  • Show more than two time points if available
  • Multiple time points may be better presented in a Figure
  • Similar data should go down columns
  • Highlight important comparisons
  • Show the source of the data

Consider the data in the table below from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/commoncancers

Our ability to quickly understand the relative frequency of these cancers is hampered by presenting them in alphabetical order. It is much easier for the reader to grasp the relative frequency by listing them from most frequent to least frequent as in the next table.

However, the same information might be presented more effectively with a dot plot, as shown below.

different types of data presentation methods

Data from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/commoncancers

Principles of Graphical Excellence from E.R. Tufte

Pattern perception.

Pattern perception is done by

  • Detection: recognition of geometry encoding physical values
  • Assembly: grouping of detected symbol elements; discerning overall patterns in data
  • Estimation: assessment of relative magnitudes of two physical values

Geographic Variation in Cancer

As an example, Tufte offers a series of maps that summarize the age-adjusted mortality rates for various types of cancer in the 3,056 counties in the United States. The maps showing the geographic variation in stomach cancer are shown below.

These maps summarize an enormous amount of information and present it efficiently, coherently, and effectively.in a way that invites the viewer to make comparisons and to think about the substance of the findings. Consider, for example, that the region to the west of the Great Lakes was settled largely by immigrants from Germany and Scand anavia, where traditional methods of preserving food included pickling and curing of fish by smoking. Could these methods be associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer?

John Snow's Spot Map of Cholera Cases

Consider also the spot map that John Snow presented after the cholera outbreak in the Broad Street section of London in September 1854. Snow ascertained the place of residence or work of the victims and represented them on a map of the area using a small black disk to represent each victim and stacking them when more than one occurred at a particular location. Snow reasoned that cholera was probably caused by something that was ingested, because of the intense diarrhea and vomiting of the victims, and he noted that the vast majority of cholera deaths occurred in people who lived or worked in the immediate vicinity of the broad street pump (shown with a red dot that we added for clarity). He further ascertained that most of the victims drank water from the Broad Street pump, and it was this evidence that persuaded the authorities to remove the handle from the pump in order to prevent more deaths.

Map of the Broad Street area of London showing stacks of black disks to represent the number of cholera cases that occurred at various locations. The cases seem to be clustered around the Broad Street water pump.

Humans can readily perceive differences like this when presented effectively as in the two previous examples. However, humans are not good at estimating differences without directly seeing them (especially for steep curves), and we are particularly bad at perceiving relative angles (the principal perception task used in a pie chart).

The use of pie charts is generally discouraged. Consider the pie chart on the left below. It is difficult to accurately assess the relative size of the components in the pie chart, because the human eye has difficulty judging angles. The dot plot on the right shows the same data, but it is much easier to quickly assess the relative size of the components and how they changed from Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2007.

Consider the information in the two pie charts below (showing the same information).The 3-dimensional pie chart on the left distorts the relative proportions. In contrast the 2-dimensional pie chart on the right makes it much easier to compare the relative size of the varies components..

More Principles of Graphical Excellence

Exclude unneeded dimensions.

These 3-dimensional techniques distort the data and actually interfere with our ability to make accurate comparisons. The distortion caused by 3-dimensional elements can be particularly severe when the graphic is slanted at an angle or when the viewer tends to compare ends up unwittingly comparing the areas of the ink rather than the heights of the bars.

It is much easier to make comparisons with a chart like the one below.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Huang, C, Guo C, Nichols C, Chen S, Martorell R. Elevated levels of protein in urine in adulthood after exposure to

the Chinese famine of 1959–61 during gestation and the early postnatal period. Int. J. Epidemiol. (2014) 43 (6): 1806-1814 .

Omit "Chart Junk"

Consider these two examples.

Here is a simple enumeration of the number of pets in a neighborhood. There is absolutely no reason to connect these counts with lines. This is, in fact, confusing and inappropriate and nothing more than "chart junk."

different types of data presentation methods

Source: http://www.go-education.com/free-graph-maker.html

Moiré Vibration

Moiré effects are sometimes used in modern art to produce the appearance of vibration and movement. However, when these effects are applied to statistical presentations, they are distracting and add clutter because the visual noise interferes with the interpretation of the data.

Tufte presents the example shown below from Instituto de Expansao Commercial, Brasil, Graphicos Estatisticas (Rio de Janeiro, 1929, p. 15).

 While the intention is to present quantitative information about the textile industry, the moiré effects do not add anything, and they are distracting, if not visually annoying.

Present Data to Facilitate Comparisons

Here is an attempt to compare catches of cod fish and crab across regions and to relate the variation to changes in water temperature. The problem here is that the Y-axes are vastly different, making it hard to sort out what's really going on. Even the Y-axes for temperature are vastly different.

different types of data presentation methods

http://seananderson.ca/courses/11-multipanel/multipanel.pdf1

The ability to make comparisons is greatly facilitated by using the same scales for axes, as illustrated below.

different types of data presentation methods

Data source: Dawber TR, Meadors GF, Moore FE Jr. Epidemiological approaches to heart disease:

the Framingham Study. Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1951;41(3):279-81. PMID: 14819398

It is also important to avoid distorting the X-axis. Note in the example below that the space between 0.05 to 0.1 is the same as space between 0.1 and 0.2.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Park JH, Gail MH, Weinberg CR, et al. Distribution of allele frequencies and effect sizes and

their interrelationships for common genetic susceptibility variants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108:18026-31.

Consider the range of the Y-axis. In the examples below there is no relevant information below $40,000, so it is not necessary to begin the Y-axis at 0. The graph on the right makes more sense.

Also, consider using a log scale. this can be particularly useful when presenting ratios as in the example below.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Broman KW, Murray JC, Sheffield VC, White RL, Weber JL (1998) Comprehensive human genetic maps:

Individual and sex-specific variation in recombination. American Journal of Human Genetics 63:861-869, Figure 1

We noted earlier that pie charts make it difficult to see differences within a single pie chart, but this is particularly difficult when data is presented with multiple pie charts, as in the example below.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Bell ML, et al. (2007) Spatial and temporal variation in PM2.5 chemical composition in the United States

for health effects studies. Environmental Health Perspectives 115:989-995, Figure 3

When multiple comparisons are being made, it is essential to use colors and symbols in a consistent way, as in this example.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Manning AK, LaValley M, Liu CT, et al.  Meta-Analysis of Gene-Environment Interaction:

Joint Estimation of SNP and SNP x Environment Regression Coefficients.  Genet Epidemiol 2011, 35(1):11-8.

Avoid putting too many lines on the same chart. In the example below, the only thing that is readily apparent is that 1980 was a very hot summer.

different types of data presentation methods

Data from National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office at

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tsa/?n=climo_tulyeartemp

Make Efficient Use of Space

Reduce the ratio of ink to information.

This isn't efficient, because this graphic is totally uninformative.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Mykland P, Tierney L, Yu B (1995) Regeneration in Markov chain samplers.  Journal of the American Statistical Association 90:233-241, Figure 1

Bar graphs add ink without conveying any additional information, and they are distracting. The graph below on the left inappropriately uses bars which clutter the graph without adding anything. The graph on the right displays the same data, by does so more clearly and with less clutter.

Multiple Types of Information on the Same Figure

Choosing the best graph type, bar charts, error bars and dot plots.

As noted previously, bar charts can be problematic. Here is another one presenting means and error bars, but the error bars are misleading because they only extend in one direction. A better alternative would have been to to use full error bars with a scatter plot, as illustrated previously (right).

Consider the four graphs below presenting the incidence of cancer by type. The upper left graph unnecessary uses bars, which take up a lot of ink. This layout also ends up making the fonts for the types of cancer too small. Small font is also a problem for the dot plot at the upper right, and this one also has unnecessary grid lines across the entire width.

The graph at the lower left has more readable labels and uses a simple dot plot, but the rank order is difficult to figure out.

The graph at the lower right is clearly the best, since the labels are readable, the magnitude of incidence is shown clearly by the dot plots, and the cancers are sorted by frequency.

Single Continuous Numeric Variable

In this situation a cumulative distribution function conveys the most information and requires no grouping of the variable. A box plot will show selected quantiles effectively, and box plots are especially useful when stratifying by multiple categories of another variable.

Histograms are also possible. Consider the examples below.

Two Variables

 The two graphs below summarize BMI (Body Mass Index) measurements in four categories, i.e., younger and older men and women. The graph on the left shows the means and 95% confidence interval for the mean in each of the four groups. This is easy to interpret, but the viewer cannot see that the data is actually quite skewed. The graph on the right shows the same information presented as a box plot. With this presentation method one gets a better understanding of the skewed distribution and how the groups compare.

The next example is a scatter plot with a superimposed smoothed line of prediction. The shaded region embracing the blue line is a representation of the 95% confidence limits for the estimated prediction. This was created using "ggplot" in the R programming language.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Frank E. Harrell Jr. on graphics:  http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/pub/Main/StatGraphCourse/graphscourse.pdf (page 121)

Multivariate Data

The example below shows the use of multiple panels.

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Cleveland S. The Elements of Graphing Data. Hobart Press, Summit, NJ, 1994.

Displaying Uncertainty

  • Error bars showing confidence limits
  • Confidence bands drawn using two lines
  • Shaded confidence bands
  • Bayesian credible intervals
  • Bayesian posterior densities

Confidence Limits

Shaded Confidence Bands

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Frank E. Harrell Jr. on graphics:  http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/pub/Main/StatGraphCourse/graphscourse.pdf

different types of data presentation methods

Source: Tweedie RL and Mengersen KL. (1992) Br. J. Cancer 66: 700-705

Forest Plot

This is a Forest plot summarizing 26 studies of cigarette smoke exposure on risk of lung cancer. The sizes of the black boxes indicating the estimated odds ratio are proportional to the sample size in each study.

different types of data presentation methods

Data from Tweedie RL and Mengersen KL. (1992) Br. J. Cancer 66: 700-705

Summary Recommendations

  • In general, avoid bar plots
  • Avoid chart junk and the use of too much ink relative to the information you are displaying. Keep it simple and clear.
  • Avoid pie charts, because humans have difficulty perceiving relative angles.
  • Pay attention to scale, and make scales consistent.
  • Explore several ways to display the data!

12 Tips on How to Display Data Badly

Adapted from Wainer H.  How to Display Data Badly.  The American Statistician 1984; 38: 137-147. 

  • Show as few data as possible
  • Hide what data you do show; minimize the data-ink ratio
  • Ignore the visual metaphor altogether
  • Only order matters
  • Graph data out of context
  • Change scales in mid-axis
  • Emphasize the trivial;  ignore the important
  • Jiggle the baseline
  • Alphabetize everything.
  • Make your labels illegible, incomplete, incorrect, and ambiguous.
  • More is murkier: use a lot of decimal places and make your graphs three dimensional whenever possible.
  • If it has been done well in the past, think of another way to do it

Additional Resources

  • Stephen Few: Designing Effective Tables and Graphs. http://www.perceptualedge.com/images/Effective_Chart_Design.pdf
  • Gary Klaas: Presenting Data: Tabular and graphic display of social indicators. Illinois State University, 2002. http://lilt.ilstu.edu/gmklass/pos138/datadisplay/sections/goodcharts.htm (Note: The web site will be discontinued to be replaced by the Just Plain Data Analysis site).

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  • Korean J Anesthesiol
  • v.70(3); 2017 Jun

Statistical data presentation

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.

Sangseok Lee

2 Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Data are usually collected in a raw format and thus the inherent information is difficult to understand. Therefore, raw data need to be summarized, processed, and analyzed. However, no matter how well manipulated, the information derived from the raw data should be presented in an effective format, otherwise, it would be a great loss for both authors and readers. In this article, the techniques of data and information presentation in textual, tabular, and graphical forms are introduced. Text is the principal method for explaining findings, outlining trends, and providing contextual information. A table is best suited for representing individual information and represents both quantitative and qualitative information. A graph is a very effective visual tool as it displays data at a glance, facilitates comparison, and can reveal trends and relationships within the data such as changes over time, frequency distribution, and correlation or relative share of a whole. Text, tables, and graphs for data and information presentation are very powerful communication tools. They can make an article easy to understand, attract and sustain the interest of readers, and efficiently present large amounts of complex information. Moreover, as journal editors and reviewers glance at these presentations before reading the whole article, their importance cannot be ignored.

Introduction

Data are a set of facts, and provide a partial picture of reality. Whether data are being collected with a certain purpose or collected data are being utilized, questions regarding what information the data are conveying, how the data can be used, and what must be done to include more useful information must constantly be kept in mind.

Since most data are available to researchers in a raw format, they must be summarized, organized, and analyzed to usefully derive information from them. Furthermore, each data set needs to be presented in a certain way depending on what it is used for. Planning how the data will be presented is essential before appropriately processing raw data.

First, a question for which an answer is desired must be clearly defined. The more detailed the question is, the more detailed and clearer the results are. A broad question results in vague answers and results that are hard to interpret. In other words, a well-defined question is crucial for the data to be well-understood later. Once a detailed question is ready, the raw data must be prepared before processing. These days, data are often summarized, organized, and analyzed with statistical packages or graphics software. Data must be prepared in such a way they are properly recognized by the program being used. The present study does not discuss this data preparation process, which involves creating a data frame, creating/changing rows and columns, changing the level of a factor, categorical variable, coding, dummy variables, variable transformation, data transformation, missing value, outlier treatment, and noise removal.

We describe the roles and appropriate use of text, tables, and graphs (graphs, plots, or charts), all of which are commonly used in reports, articles, posters, and presentations. Furthermore, we discuss the issues that must be addressed when presenting various kinds of information, and effective methods of presenting data, which are the end products of research, and of emphasizing specific information.

Data Presentation

Data can be presented in one of the three ways:

–as text;

–in tabular form; or

–in graphical form.

Methods of presentation must be determined according to the data format, the method of analysis to be used, and the information to be emphasized. Inappropriately presented data fail to clearly convey information to readers and reviewers. Even when the same information is being conveyed, different methods of presentation must be employed depending on what specific information is going to be emphasized. A method of presentation must be chosen after carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of presentation. For easy comparison of different methods of presentation, let us look at a table ( Table 1 ) and a line graph ( Fig. 1 ) that present the same information [ 1 ]. If one wishes to compare or introduce two values at a certain time point, it is appropriate to use text or the written language. However, a table is the most appropriate when all information requires equal attention, and it allows readers to selectively look at information of their own interest. Graphs allow readers to understand the overall trend in data, and intuitively understand the comparison results between two groups. One thing to always bear in mind regardless of what method is used, however, is the simplicity of presentation.

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Values are expressed as mean ± SD. Group C: normal saline, Group D: dexmedetomidine. SBP: systolic blood pressure, DBP: diastolic blood pressure, MBP: mean blood pressure, HR: heart rate. * P < 0.05 indicates a significant increase in each group, compared with the baseline values. † P < 0.05 indicates a significant decrease noted in Group D, compared with the baseline values. ‡ P < 0.05 indicates a significant difference between the groups.

Text presentation

Text is the main method of conveying information as it is used to explain results and trends, and provide contextual information. Data are fundamentally presented in paragraphs or sentences. Text can be used to provide interpretation or emphasize certain data. If quantitative information to be conveyed consists of one or two numbers, it is more appropriate to use written language than tables or graphs. For instance, information about the incidence rates of delirium following anesthesia in 2016–2017 can be presented with the use of a few numbers: “The incidence rate of delirium following anesthesia was 11% in 2016 and 15% in 2017; no significant difference of incidence rates was found between the two years.” If this information were to be presented in a graph or a table, it would occupy an unnecessarily large space on the page, without enhancing the readers' understanding of the data. If more data are to be presented, or other information such as that regarding data trends are to be conveyed, a table or a graph would be more appropriate. By nature, data take longer to read when presented as texts and when the main text includes a long list of information, readers and reviewers may have difficulties in understanding the information.

Table presentation

Tables, which convey information that has been converted into words or numbers in rows and columns, have been used for nearly 2,000 years. Anyone with a sufficient level of literacy can easily understand the information presented in a table. Tables are the most appropriate for presenting individual information, and can present both quantitative and qualitative information. Examples of qualitative information are the level of sedation [ 2 ], statistical methods/functions [ 3 , 4 ], and intubation conditions [ 5 ].

The strength of tables is that they can accurately present information that cannot be presented with a graph. A number such as “132.145852” can be accurately expressed in a table. Another strength is that information with different units can be presented together. For instance, blood pressure, heart rate, number of drugs administered, and anesthesia time can be presented together in one table. Finally, tables are useful for summarizing and comparing quantitative information of different variables. However, the interpretation of information takes longer in tables than in graphs, and tables are not appropriate for studying data trends. Furthermore, since all data are of equal importance in a table, it is not easy to identify and selectively choose the information required.

For a general guideline for creating tables, refer to the journal submission requirements 1) .

Heat maps for better visualization of information than tables

Heat maps help to further visualize the information presented in a table by applying colors to the background of cells. By adjusting the colors or color saturation, information is conveyed in a more visible manner, and readers can quickly identify the information of interest ( Table 2 ). Software such as Excel (in Microsoft Office, Microsoft, WA, USA) have features that enable easy creation of heat maps through the options available on the “conditional formatting” menu.

All numbers were created by the author. SBP: systolic blood pressure, DBP: diastolic blood pressure, MBP: mean blood pressure, HR: heart rate.

Graph presentation

Whereas tables can be used for presenting all the information, graphs simplify complex information by using images and emphasizing data patterns or trends, and are useful for summarizing, explaining, or exploring quantitative data. While graphs are effective for presenting large amounts of data, they can be used in place of tables to present small sets of data. A graph format that best presents information must be chosen so that readers and reviewers can easily understand the information. In the following, we describe frequently used graph formats and the types of data that are appropriately presented with each format with examples.

Scatter plot

Scatter plots present data on the x - and y -axes and are used to investigate an association between two variables. A point represents each individual or object, and an association between two variables can be studied by analyzing patterns across multiple points. A regression line is added to a graph to determine whether the association between two variables can be explained or not. Fig. 2 illustrates correlations between pain scoring systems that are currently used (PSQ, Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire; PASS, Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale; PCS, Pain Catastrophizing Scale) and Geop-Pain Questionnaire (GPQ) with the correlation coefficient, R, and regression line indicated on the scatter plot [ 6 ]. If multiple points exist at an identical location as in this example ( Fig. 2 ), the correlation level may not be clear. In this case, a correlation coefficient or regression line can be added to further elucidate the correlation.

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Bar graph and histogram

A bar graph is used to indicate and compare values in a discrete category or group, and the frequency or other measurement parameters (i.e. mean). Depending on the number of categories, and the size or complexity of each category, bars may be created vertically or horizontally. The height (or length) of a bar represents the amount of information in a category. Bar graphs are flexible, and can be used in a grouped or subdivided bar format in cases of two or more data sets in each category. Fig. 3 is a representative example of a vertical bar graph, with the x -axis representing the length of recovery room stay and drug-treated group, and the y -axis representing the visual analog scale (VAS) score. The mean and standard deviation of the VAS scores are expressed as whiskers on the bars ( Fig. 3 ) [ 7 ].

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By comparing the endpoints of bars, one can identify the largest and the smallest categories, and understand gradual differences between each category. It is advised to start the x - and y -axes from 0. Illustration of comparison results in the x - and y -axes that do not start from 0 can deceive readers' eyes and lead to overrepresentation of the results.

One form of vertical bar graph is the stacked vertical bar graph. A stack vertical bar graph is used to compare the sum of each category, and analyze parts of a category. While stacked vertical bar graphs are excellent from the aspect of visualization, they do not have a reference line, making comparison of parts of various categories challenging ( Fig. 4 ) [ 8 ].

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A pie chart, which is used to represent nominal data (in other words, data classified in different categories), visually represents a distribution of categories. It is generally the most appropriate format for representing information grouped into a small number of categories. It is also used for data that have no other way of being represented aside from a table (i.e. frequency table). Fig. 5 illustrates the distribution of regular waste from operation rooms by their weight [ 8 ]. A pie chart is also commonly used to illustrate the number of votes each candidate won in an election.

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Line plot with whiskers

A line plot is useful for representing time-series data such as monthly precipitation and yearly unemployment rates; in other words, it is used to study variables that are observed over time. Line graphs are especially useful for studying patterns and trends across data that include climatic influence, large changes or turning points, and are also appropriate for representing not only time-series data, but also data measured over the progression of a continuous variable such as distance. As can be seen in Fig. 1 , mean and standard deviation of systolic blood pressure are indicated for each time point, which enables readers to easily understand changes of systolic pressure over time [ 1 ]. If data are collected at a regular interval, values in between the measurements can be estimated. In a line graph, the x-axis represents the continuous variable, while the y-axis represents the scale and measurement values. It is also useful to represent multiple data sets on a single line graph to compare and analyze patterns across different data sets.

Box and whisker chart

A box and whisker chart does not make any assumptions about the underlying statistical distribution, and represents variations in samples of a population; therefore, it is appropriate for representing nonparametric data. AA box and whisker chart consists of boxes that represent interquartile range (one to three), the median and the mean of the data, and whiskers presented as lines outside of the boxes. Whiskers can be used to present the largest and smallest values in a set of data or only a part of the data (i.e. 95% of all the data). Data that are excluded from the data set are presented as individual points and are called outliers. The spacing at both ends of the box indicates dispersion in the data. The relative location of the median demonstrated within the box indicates skewness ( Fig. 6 ). The box and whisker chart provided as an example represents calculated volumes of an anesthetic, desflurane, consumed over the course of the observation period ( Fig. 7 ) [ 9 ].

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Three-dimensional effects

Most of the recently introduced statistical packages and graphics software have the three-dimensional (3D) effect feature. The 3D effects can add depth and perspective to a graph. However, since they may make reading and interpreting data more difficult, they must only be used after careful consideration. The application of 3D effects on a pie chart makes distinguishing the size of each slice difficult. Even if slices are of similar sizes, slices farther from the front of the pie chart may appear smaller than the slices closer to the front ( Fig. 8 ).

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Drawing a graph: example

Finally, we explain how to create a graph by using a line graph as an example ( Fig. 9 ). In Fig. 9 , the mean values of arterial pressure were randomly produced and assumed to have been measured on an hourly basis. In many graphs, the x- and y-axes meet at the zero point ( Fig. 9A ). In this case, information regarding the mean and standard deviation of mean arterial pressure measurements corresponding to t = 0 cannot be conveyed as the values overlap with the y-axis. The data can be clearly exposed by separating the zero point ( Fig. 9B ). In Fig. 9B , the mean and standard deviation of different groups overlap and cannot be clearly distinguished from each other. Separating the data sets and presenting standard deviations in a single direction prevents overlapping and, therefore, reduces the visual inconvenience. Doing so also reduces the excessive number of ticks on the y-axis, increasing the legibility of the graph ( Fig. 9C ). In the last graph, different shapes were used for the lines connecting different time points to further allow the data to be distinguished, and the y-axis was shortened to get rid of the unnecessary empty space present in the previous graphs ( Fig. 9D ). A graph can be made easier to interpret by assigning each group to a different color, changing the shape of a point, or including graphs of different formats [ 10 ]. The use of random settings for the scale in a graph may lead to inappropriate presentation or presentation of data that can deceive readers' eyes ( Fig. 10 ).

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Owing to the lack of space, we could not discuss all types of graphs, but have focused on describing graphs that are frequently used in scholarly articles. We have summarized the commonly used types of graphs according to the method of data analysis in Table 3 . For general guidelines on graph designs, please refer to the journal submission requirements 2) .

Conclusions

Text, tables, and graphs are effective communication media that present and convey data and information. They aid readers in understanding the content of research, sustain their interest, and effectively present large quantities of complex information. As journal editors and reviewers will scan through these presentations before reading the entire text, their importance cannot be disregarded. For this reason, authors must pay as close attention to selecting appropriate methods of data presentation as when they were collecting data of good quality and analyzing them. In addition, having a well-established understanding of different methods of data presentation and their appropriate use will enable one to develop the ability to recognize and interpret inappropriately presented data or data presented in such a way that it deceives readers' eyes [ 11 ].

<Appendix>

Output for presentation.

Discovery and communication are the two objectives of data visualization. In the discovery phase, various types of graphs must be tried to understand the rough and overall information the data are conveying. The communication phase is focused on presenting the discovered information in a summarized form. During this phase, it is necessary to polish images including graphs, pictures, and videos, and consider the fact that the images may look different when printed than how appear on a computer screen. In this appendix, we discuss important concepts that one must be familiar with to print graphs appropriately.

The KJA asks that pictures and images meet the following requirement before submission 3)

“Figures and photographs should be submitted as ‘TIFF’ files. Submit files of figures and photographs separately from the text of the paper. Width of figure should be 84 mm (one column). Contrast of photos or graphs should be at least 600 dpi. Contrast of line drawings should be at least 1,200 dpi. The Powerpoint file (ppt, pptx) is also acceptable.”

Unfortunately, without sufficient knowledge of computer graphics, it is not easy to understand the submission requirement above. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an understanding of image resolution, image format (bitmap and vector images), and the corresponding file specifications.

Resolution is often mentioned to describe the quality of images containing graphs or CT/MRI scans, and video files. The higher the resolution, the clearer and closer to reality the image is, while the opposite is true for low resolutions. The most representative unit used to describe a resolution is “dpi” (dots per inch): this literally translates to the number of dots required to constitute 1 inch. The greater the number of dots, the higher the resolution. The KJA submission requirements recommend 600 dpi for images, and 1,200 dpi 4) for graphs. In other words, resolutions in which 600 or 1,200 dots constitute one inch are required for submission.

There are requirements for the horizontal length of an image in addition to the resolution requirements. While there are no requirements for the vertical length of an image, it must not exceed the vertical length of a page. The width of a column on one side of a printed page is 84 mm, or 3.3 inches (84/25.4 mm ≒ 3.3 inches). Therefore, a graph must have a resolution in which 1,200 dots constitute 1 inch, and have a width of 3.3 inches.

Bitmap and Vector

Methods of image construction are important. Bitmap images can be considered as images drawn on section paper. Enlarging the image will enlarge the picture along with the grid, resulting in a lower resolution; in other words, aliasing occurs. On the other hand, reducing the size of the image will reduce the size of the picture, while increasing the resolution. In other words, resolution and the size of an image are inversely proportionate to one another in bitmap images, and it is a drawback of bitmap images that resolution must be considered when adjusting the size of an image. To enlarge an image while maintaining the same resolution, the size and resolution of the image must be determined before saving the image. An image that has already been created cannot avoid changes to its resolution according to changes in size. Enlarging an image while maintaining the same resolution will increase the number of horizontal and vertical dots, ultimately increasing the number of pixels 5) of the image, and the file size. In other words, the file size of a bitmap image is affected by the size and resolution of the image (file extensions include JPG [JPEG] 6) , PNG 7) , GIF 8) , and TIF [TIFF] 9) . To avoid this complexity, the width of an image can be set to 4 inches and its resolution to 900 dpi to satisfy the submission requirements of most journals [ 12 ].

Vector images overcome the shortcomings of bitmap images. Vector images are created based on mathematical operations of line segments and areas between different points, and are not affected by aliasing or pixelation. Furthermore, they result in a smaller file size that is not affected by the size of the image. They are commonly used for drawings and illustrations (file extensions include EPS 10) , CGM 11) , and SVG 12) ).

Finally, the PDF 13) is a file format developed by Adobe Systems (Adobe Systems, CA, USA) for electronic documents, and can contain general documents, text, drawings, images, and fonts. They can also contain bitmap and vector images. While vector images are used by researchers when working in Powerpoint, they are saved as 960 × 720 dots when saved in TIFF format in Powerpoint. This results in a resolution that is inappropriate for printing on a paper medium. To save high-resolution bitmap images, the image must be saved as a PDF file instead of a TIFF, and the saved PDF file must be imported into an imaging processing program such as Photoshop™(Adobe Systems, CA, USA) to be saved in TIFF format [ 12 ].

1) Instructions to authors in KJA; section 5-(9) Table; https://ekja.org/index.php?body=instruction

2) Instructions to Authors in KJA; section 6-1)-(10) Figures and illustrations in Manuscript preparation; https://ekja.org/index.php?body=instruction

3) Instructions to Authors in KJA; section 6-1)-(10) Figures and illustrations in Manuscript preparation; https://ekja.org/index.php?body=instruction

4) Resolution; in KJA, it is represented by “contrast.”

5) Pixel is a minimum unit of an image and contains information of a dot and color. It is derived by multiplying the number of vertical and horizontal dots regardless of image size. For example, Full High Definition (FHD) monitor has 1920 × 1080 dots ≒ 2.07 million pixel.

6) Joint Photographic Experts Group.

7) Portable Network Graphics.

8) Graphics Interchange Format

9) Tagged Image File Format; TIFF

10) Encapsulated PostScript.

11) Computer Graphics Metafile.

12) Scalable Vector Graphics.

13) Portable Document Format.

Your Modern Business Guide To Data Analysis Methods And Techniques

Data analysis methods and techniques blog post by datapine

Table of Contents

1) What Is Data Analysis?

2) Why Is Data Analysis Important?

3) What Is The Data Analysis Process?

4) Types Of Data Analysis Methods

5) Top Data Analysis Techniques To Apply

6) Quality Criteria For Data Analysis

7) Data Analysis Limitations & Barriers

8) Data Analysis Skills

9) Data Analysis In The Big Data Environment

In our data-rich age, understanding how to analyze and extract true meaning from our business’s digital insights is one of the primary drivers of success.

Despite the colossal volume of data we create every day, a mere 0.5% is actually analyzed and used for data discovery , improvement, and intelligence. While that may not seem like much, considering the amount of digital information we have at our fingertips, half a percent still accounts for a vast amount of data.

With so much data and so little time, knowing how to collect, curate, organize, and make sense of all of this potentially business-boosting information can be a minefield – but online data analysis is the solution.

In science, data analysis uses a more complex approach with advanced techniques to explore and experiment with data. On the other hand, in a business context, data is used to make data-driven decisions that will enable the company to improve its overall performance. In this post, we will cover the analysis of data from an organizational point of view while still going through the scientific and statistical foundations that are fundamental to understanding the basics of data analysis. 

To put all of that into perspective, we will answer a host of important analytical questions, explore analytical methods and techniques, while demonstrating how to perform analysis in the real world with a 17-step blueprint for success.

What Is Data Analysis?

Data analysis is the process of collecting, modeling, and analyzing data using various statistical and logical methods and techniques. Businesses rely on analytics processes and tools to extract insights that support strategic and operational decision-making.

All these various methods are largely based on two core areas: quantitative and qualitative research.

To explain the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research, here’s a video for your viewing pleasure:

Gaining a better understanding of different techniques and methods in quantitative research as well as qualitative insights will give your analyzing efforts a more clearly defined direction, so it’s worth taking the time to allow this particular knowledge to sink in. Additionally, you will be able to create a comprehensive analytical report that will skyrocket your analysis.

Apart from qualitative and quantitative categories, there are also other types of data that you should be aware of before dividing into complex data analysis processes. These categories include: 

  • Big data: Refers to massive data sets that need to be analyzed using advanced software to reveal patterns and trends. It is considered to be one of the best analytical assets as it provides larger volumes of data at a faster rate. 
  • Metadata: Putting it simply, metadata is data that provides insights about other data. It summarizes key information about specific data that makes it easier to find and reuse for later purposes. 
  • Real time data: As its name suggests, real time data is presented as soon as it is acquired. From an organizational perspective, this is the most valuable data as it can help you make important decisions based on the latest developments. Our guide on real time analytics will tell you more about the topic. 
  • Machine data: This is more complex data that is generated solely by a machine such as phones, computers, or even websites and embedded systems, without previous human interaction.

Why Is Data Analysis Important?

Before we go into detail about the categories of analysis along with its methods and techniques, you must understand the potential that analyzing data can bring to your organization.

  • Informed decision-making : From a management perspective, you can benefit from analyzing your data as it helps you make decisions based on facts and not simple intuition. For instance, you can understand where to invest your capital, detect growth opportunities, predict your income, or tackle uncommon situations before they become problems. Through this, you can extract relevant insights from all areas in your organization, and with the help of dashboard software , present the data in a professional and interactive way to different stakeholders.
  • Reduce costs : Another great benefit is to reduce costs. With the help of advanced technologies such as predictive analytics, businesses can spot improvement opportunities, trends, and patterns in their data and plan their strategies accordingly. In time, this will help you save money and resources on implementing the wrong strategies. And not just that, by predicting different scenarios such as sales and demand you can also anticipate production and supply. 
  • Target customers better : Customers are arguably the most crucial element in any business. By using analytics to get a 360° vision of all aspects related to your customers, you can understand which channels they use to communicate with you, their demographics, interests, habits, purchasing behaviors, and more. In the long run, it will drive success to your marketing strategies, allow you to identify new potential customers, and avoid wasting resources on targeting the wrong people or sending the wrong message. You can also track customer satisfaction by analyzing your client’s reviews or your customer service department’s performance.

What Is The Data Analysis Process?

Data analysis process graphic

When we talk about analyzing data there is an order to follow in order to extract the needed conclusions. The analysis process consists of 5 key stages. We will cover each of them more in detail later in the post, but to start providing the needed context to understand what is coming next, here is a rundown of the 5 essential steps of data analysis. 

  • Identify: Before you get your hands dirty with data, you first need to identify why you need it in the first place. The identification is the stage in which you establish the questions you will need to answer. For example, what is the customer's perception of our brand? Or what type of packaging is more engaging to our potential customers? Once the questions are outlined you are ready for the next step. 
  • Collect: As its name suggests, this is the stage where you start collecting the needed data. Here, you define which sources of data you will use and how you will use them. The collection of data can come in different forms such as internal or external sources, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups, among others.  An important note here is that the way you collect the data will be different in a quantitative and qualitative scenario. 
  • Clean: Once you have the necessary data it is time to clean it and leave it ready for analysis. Not all the data you collect will be useful, when collecting big amounts of data in different formats it is very likely that you will find yourself with duplicate or badly formatted data. To avoid this, before you start working with your data you need to make sure to erase any white spaces, duplicate records, or formatting errors. This way you avoid hurting your analysis with bad-quality data. 
  • Analyze : With the help of various techniques such as statistical analysis, regressions, neural networks, text analysis, and more, you can start analyzing and manipulating your data to extract relevant conclusions. At this stage, you find trends, correlations, variations, and patterns that can help you answer the questions you first thought of in the identify stage. Various technologies in the market assist researchers and average users with the management of their data. Some of them include business intelligence and visualization software, predictive analytics, and data mining, among others. 
  • Interpret: Last but not least you have one of the most important steps: it is time to interpret your results. This stage is where the researcher comes up with courses of action based on the findings. For example, here you would understand if your clients prefer packaging that is red or green, plastic or paper, etc. Additionally, at this stage, you can also find some limitations and work on them. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of the key data analysis steps, let’s look at the top 17 essential methods.

17 Essential Types Of Data Analysis Methods

Before diving into the 17 essential types of methods, it is important that we go over really fast through the main analysis categories. Starting with the category of descriptive up to prescriptive analysis, the complexity and effort of data evaluation increases, but also the added value for the company.

a) Descriptive analysis - What happened.

The descriptive analysis method is the starting point for any analytic reflection, and it aims to answer the question of what happened? It does this by ordering, manipulating, and interpreting raw data from various sources to turn it into valuable insights for your organization.

Performing descriptive analysis is essential, as it enables us to present our insights in a meaningful way. Although it is relevant to mention that this analysis on its own will not allow you to predict future outcomes or tell you the answer to questions like why something happened, it will leave your data organized and ready to conduct further investigations.

b) Exploratory analysis - How to explore data relationships.

As its name suggests, the main aim of the exploratory analysis is to explore. Prior to it, there is still no notion of the relationship between the data and the variables. Once the data is investigated, exploratory analysis helps you to find connections and generate hypotheses and solutions for specific problems. A typical area of ​​application for it is data mining.

c) Diagnostic analysis - Why it happened.

Diagnostic data analytics empowers analysts and executives by helping them gain a firm contextual understanding of why something happened. If you know why something happened as well as how it happened, you will be able to pinpoint the exact ways of tackling the issue or challenge.

Designed to provide direct and actionable answers to specific questions, this is one of the world’s most important methods in research, among its other key organizational functions such as retail analytics , e.g.

c) Predictive analysis - What will happen.

The predictive method allows you to look into the future to answer the question: what will happen? In order to do this, it uses the results of the previously mentioned descriptive, exploratory, and diagnostic analysis, in addition to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Through this, you can uncover future trends, potential problems or inefficiencies, connections, and casualties in your data.

With predictive analysis, you can unfold and develop initiatives that will not only enhance your various operational processes but also help you gain an all-important edge over the competition. If you understand why a trend, pattern, or event happened through data, you will be able to develop an informed projection of how things may unfold in particular areas of the business.

e) Prescriptive analysis - How will it happen.

Another of the most effective types of analysis methods in research. Prescriptive data techniques cross over from predictive analysis in the way that it revolves around using patterns or trends to develop responsive, practical business strategies.

By drilling down into prescriptive analysis, you will play an active role in the data consumption process by taking well-arranged sets of visual data and using it as a powerful fix to emerging issues in a number of key areas, including marketing, sales, customer experience, HR, fulfillment, finance, logistics analytics , and others.

Top 17 data analysis methods

As mentioned at the beginning of the post, data analysis methods can be divided into two big categories: quantitative and qualitative. Each of these categories holds a powerful analytical value that changes depending on the scenario and type of data you are working with. Below, we will discuss 17 methods that are divided into qualitative and quantitative approaches. 

Without further ado, here are the 17 essential types of data analysis methods with some use cases in the business world: 

A. Quantitative Methods 

To put it simply, quantitative analysis refers to all methods that use numerical data or data that can be turned into numbers (e.g. category variables like gender, age, etc.) to extract valuable insights. It is used to extract valuable conclusions about relationships, differences, and test hypotheses. Below we discuss some of the key quantitative methods. 

1. Cluster analysis

The action of grouping a set of data elements in a way that said elements are more similar (in a particular sense) to each other than to those in other groups – hence the term ‘cluster.’ Since there is no target variable when clustering, the method is often used to find hidden patterns in the data. The approach is also used to provide additional context to a trend or dataset.

Let's look at it from an organizational perspective. In a perfect world, marketers would be able to analyze each customer separately and give them the best-personalized service, but let's face it, with a large customer base, it is timely impossible to do that. That's where clustering comes in. By grouping customers into clusters based on demographics, purchasing behaviors, monetary value, or any other factor that might be relevant for your company, you will be able to immediately optimize your efforts and give your customers the best experience based on their needs.

2. Cohort analysis

This type of data analysis approach uses historical data to examine and compare a determined segment of users' behavior, which can then be grouped with others with similar characteristics. By using this methodology, it's possible to gain a wealth of insight into consumer needs or a firm understanding of a broader target group.

Cohort analysis can be really useful for performing analysis in marketing as it will allow you to understand the impact of your campaigns on specific groups of customers. To exemplify, imagine you send an email campaign encouraging customers to sign up for your site. For this, you create two versions of the campaign with different designs, CTAs, and ad content. Later on, you can use cohort analysis to track the performance of the campaign for a longer period of time and understand which type of content is driving your customers to sign up, repurchase, or engage in other ways.  

A useful tool to start performing cohort analysis method is Google Analytics. You can learn more about the benefits and limitations of using cohorts in GA in this useful guide . In the bottom image, you see an example of how you visualize a cohort in this tool. The segments (devices traffic) are divided into date cohorts (usage of devices) and then analyzed week by week to extract insights into performance.

Cohort analysis chart example from google analytics

3. Regression analysis

Regression uses historical data to understand how a dependent variable's value is affected when one (linear regression) or more independent variables (multiple regression) change or stay the same. By understanding each variable's relationship and how it developed in the past, you can anticipate possible outcomes and make better decisions in the future.

Let's bring it down with an example. Imagine you did a regression analysis of your sales in 2019 and discovered that variables like product quality, store design, customer service, marketing campaigns, and sales channels affected the overall result. Now you want to use regression to analyze which of these variables changed or if any new ones appeared during 2020. For example, you couldn’t sell as much in your physical store due to COVID lockdowns. Therefore, your sales could’ve either dropped in general or increased in your online channels. Through this, you can understand which independent variables affected the overall performance of your dependent variable, annual sales.

If you want to go deeper into this type of analysis, check out this article and learn more about how you can benefit from regression.

4. Neural networks

The neural network forms the basis for the intelligent algorithms of machine learning. It is a form of analytics that attempts, with minimal intervention, to understand how the human brain would generate insights and predict values. Neural networks learn from each and every data transaction, meaning that they evolve and advance over time.

A typical area of application for neural networks is predictive analytics. There are BI reporting tools that have this feature implemented within them, such as the Predictive Analytics Tool from datapine. This tool enables users to quickly and easily generate all kinds of predictions. All you have to do is select the data to be processed based on your KPIs, and the software automatically calculates forecasts based on historical and current data. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, anyone in your organization can manage it; there’s no need to be an advanced scientist. 

Here is an example of how you can use the predictive analysis tool from datapine:

Example on how to use predictive analytics tool from datapine

**click to enlarge**

5. Factor analysis

The factor analysis also called “dimension reduction” is a type of data analysis used to describe variability among observed, correlated variables in terms of a potentially lower number of unobserved variables called factors. The aim here is to uncover independent latent variables, an ideal method for streamlining specific segments.

A good way to understand this data analysis method is a customer evaluation of a product. The initial assessment is based on different variables like color, shape, wearability, current trends, materials, comfort, the place where they bought the product, and frequency of usage. Like this, the list can be endless, depending on what you want to track. In this case, factor analysis comes into the picture by summarizing all of these variables into homogenous groups, for example, by grouping the variables color, materials, quality, and trends into a brother latent variable of design.

If you want to start analyzing data using factor analysis we recommend you take a look at this practical guide from UCLA.

6. Data mining

A method of data analysis that is the umbrella term for engineering metrics and insights for additional value, direction, and context. By using exploratory statistical evaluation, data mining aims to identify dependencies, relations, patterns, and trends to generate advanced knowledge.  When considering how to analyze data, adopting a data mining mindset is essential to success - as such, it’s an area that is worth exploring in greater detail.

An excellent use case of data mining is datapine intelligent data alerts . With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, they provide automated signals based on particular commands or occurrences within a dataset. For example, if you’re monitoring supply chain KPIs , you could set an intelligent alarm to trigger when invalid or low-quality data appears. By doing so, you will be able to drill down deep into the issue and fix it swiftly and effectively.

In the following picture, you can see how the intelligent alarms from datapine work. By setting up ranges on daily orders, sessions, and revenues, the alarms will notify you if the goal was not completed or if it exceeded expectations.

Example on how to use intelligent alerts from datapine

7. Time series analysis

As its name suggests, time series analysis is used to analyze a set of data points collected over a specified period of time. Although analysts use this method to monitor the data points in a specific interval of time rather than just monitoring them intermittently, the time series analysis is not uniquely used for the purpose of collecting data over time. Instead, it allows researchers to understand if variables changed during the duration of the study, how the different variables are dependent, and how did it reach the end result. 

In a business context, this method is used to understand the causes of different trends and patterns to extract valuable insights. Another way of using this method is with the help of time series forecasting. Powered by predictive technologies, businesses can analyze various data sets over a period of time and forecast different future events. 

A great use case to put time series analysis into perspective is seasonality effects on sales. By using time series forecasting to analyze sales data of a specific product over time, you can understand if sales rise over a specific period of time (e.g. swimwear during summertime, or candy during Halloween). These insights allow you to predict demand and prepare production accordingly.  

8. Decision Trees 

The decision tree analysis aims to act as a support tool to make smart and strategic decisions. By visually displaying potential outcomes, consequences, and costs in a tree-like model, researchers and company users can easily evaluate all factors involved and choose the best course of action. Decision trees are helpful to analyze quantitative data and they allow for an improved decision-making process by helping you spot improvement opportunities, reduce costs, and enhance operational efficiency and production.

But how does a decision tree actually works? This method works like a flowchart that starts with the main decision that you need to make and branches out based on the different outcomes and consequences of each decision. Each outcome will outline its own consequences, costs, and gains and, at the end of the analysis, you can compare each of them and make the smartest decision. 

Businesses can use them to understand which project is more cost-effective and will bring more earnings in the long run. For example, imagine you need to decide if you want to update your software app or build a new app entirely.  Here you would compare the total costs, the time needed to be invested, potential revenue, and any other factor that might affect your decision.  In the end, you would be able to see which of these two options is more realistic and attainable for your company or research.

9. Conjoint analysis 

Last but not least, we have the conjoint analysis. This approach is usually used in surveys to understand how individuals value different attributes of a product or service and it is one of the most effective methods to extract consumer preferences. When it comes to purchasing, some clients might be more price-focused, others more features-focused, and others might have a sustainable focus. Whatever your customer's preferences are, you can find them with conjoint analysis. Through this, companies can define pricing strategies, packaging options, subscription packages, and more. 

A great example of conjoint analysis is in marketing and sales. For instance, a cupcake brand might use conjoint analysis and find that its clients prefer gluten-free options and cupcakes with healthier toppings over super sugary ones. Thus, the cupcake brand can turn these insights into advertisements and promotions to increase sales of this particular type of product. And not just that, conjoint analysis can also help businesses segment their customers based on their interests. This allows them to send different messaging that will bring value to each of the segments. 

10. Correspondence Analysis

Also known as reciprocal averaging, correspondence analysis is a method used to analyze the relationship between categorical variables presented within a contingency table. A contingency table is a table that displays two (simple correspondence analysis) or more (multiple correspondence analysis) categorical variables across rows and columns that show the distribution of the data, which is usually answers to a survey or questionnaire on a specific topic. 

This method starts by calculating an “expected value” which is done by multiplying row and column averages and dividing it by the overall original value of the specific table cell. The “expected value” is then subtracted from the original value resulting in a “residual number” which is what allows you to extract conclusions about relationships and distribution. The results of this analysis are later displayed using a map that represents the relationship between the different values. The closest two values are in the map, the bigger the relationship. Let’s put it into perspective with an example. 

Imagine you are carrying out a market research analysis about outdoor clothing brands and how they are perceived by the public. For this analysis, you ask a group of people to match each brand with a certain attribute which can be durability, innovation, quality materials, etc. When calculating the residual numbers, you can see that brand A has a positive residual for innovation but a negative one for durability. This means that brand A is not positioned as a durable brand in the market, something that competitors could take advantage of. 

11. Multidimensional Scaling (MDS)

MDS is a method used to observe the similarities or disparities between objects which can be colors, brands, people, geographical coordinates, and more. The objects are plotted using an “MDS map” that positions similar objects together and disparate ones far apart. The (dis) similarities between objects are represented using one or more dimensions that can be observed using a numerical scale. For example, if you want to know how people feel about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can use 1 for “don’t believe in the vaccine at all”  and 10 for “firmly believe in the vaccine” and a scale of 2 to 9 for in between responses.  When analyzing an MDS map the only thing that matters is the distance between the objects, the orientation of the dimensions is arbitrary and has no meaning at all. 

Multidimensional scaling is a valuable technique for market research, especially when it comes to evaluating product or brand positioning. For instance, if a cupcake brand wants to know how they are positioned compared to competitors, it can define 2-3 dimensions such as taste, ingredients, shopping experience, or more, and do a multidimensional scaling analysis to find improvement opportunities as well as areas in which competitors are currently leading. 

Another business example is in procurement when deciding on different suppliers. Decision makers can generate an MDS map to see how the different prices, delivery times, technical services, and more of the different suppliers differ and pick the one that suits their needs the best. 

A final example proposed by a research paper on "An Improved Study of Multilevel Semantic Network Visualization for Analyzing Sentiment Word of Movie Review Data". Researchers picked a two-dimensional MDS map to display the distances and relationships between different sentiments in movie reviews. They used 36 sentiment words and distributed them based on their emotional distance as we can see in the image below where the words "outraged" and "sweet" are on opposite sides of the map, marking the distance between the two emotions very clearly.

Example of multidimensional scaling analysis

Aside from being a valuable technique to analyze dissimilarities, MDS also serves as a dimension-reduction technique for large dimensional data. 

B. Qualitative Methods

Qualitative data analysis methods are defined as the observation of non-numerical data that is gathered and produced using methods of observation such as interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and more. As opposed to quantitative methods, qualitative data is more subjective and highly valuable in analyzing customer retention and product development.

12. Text analysis

Text analysis, also known in the industry as text mining, works by taking large sets of textual data and arranging them in a way that makes it easier to manage. By working through this cleansing process in stringent detail, you will be able to extract the data that is truly relevant to your organization and use it to develop actionable insights that will propel you forward.

Modern software accelerate the application of text analytics. Thanks to the combination of machine learning and intelligent algorithms, you can perform advanced analytical processes such as sentiment analysis. This technique allows you to understand the intentions and emotions of a text, for example, if it's positive, negative, or neutral, and then give it a score depending on certain factors and categories that are relevant to your brand. Sentiment analysis is often used to monitor brand and product reputation and to understand how successful your customer experience is. To learn more about the topic check out this insightful article .

By analyzing data from various word-based sources, including product reviews, articles, social media communications, and survey responses, you will gain invaluable insights into your audience, as well as their needs, preferences, and pain points. This will allow you to create campaigns, services, and communications that meet your prospects’ needs on a personal level, growing your audience while boosting customer retention. There are various other “sub-methods” that are an extension of text analysis. Each of them serves a more specific purpose and we will look at them in detail next. 

13. Content Analysis

This is a straightforward and very popular method that examines the presence and frequency of certain words, concepts, and subjects in different content formats such as text, image, audio, or video. For example, the number of times the name of a celebrity is mentioned on social media or online tabloids. It does this by coding text data that is later categorized and tabulated in a way that can provide valuable insights, making it the perfect mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

There are two types of content analysis. The first one is the conceptual analysis which focuses on explicit data, for instance, the number of times a concept or word is mentioned in a piece of content. The second one is relational analysis, which focuses on the relationship between different concepts or words and how they are connected within a specific context. 

Content analysis is often used by marketers to measure brand reputation and customer behavior. For example, by analyzing customer reviews. It can also be used to analyze customer interviews and find directions for new product development. It is also important to note, that in order to extract the maximum potential out of this analysis method, it is necessary to have a clearly defined research question. 

14. Thematic Analysis

Very similar to content analysis, thematic analysis also helps in identifying and interpreting patterns in qualitative data with the main difference being that the first one can also be applied to quantitative analysis. The thematic method analyzes large pieces of text data such as focus group transcripts or interviews and groups them into themes or categories that come up frequently within the text. It is a great method when trying to figure out peoples view’s and opinions about a certain topic. For example, if you are a brand that cares about sustainability, you can do a survey of your customers to analyze their views and opinions about sustainability and how they apply it to their lives. You can also analyze customer service calls transcripts to find common issues and improve your service. 

Thematic analysis is a very subjective technique that relies on the researcher’s judgment. Therefore,  to avoid biases, it has 6 steps that include familiarization, coding, generating themes, reviewing themes, defining and naming themes, and writing up. It is also important to note that, because it is a flexible approach, the data can be interpreted in multiple ways and it can be hard to select what data is more important to emphasize. 

15. Narrative Analysis 

A bit more complex in nature than the two previous ones, narrative analysis is used to explore the meaning behind the stories that people tell and most importantly, how they tell them. By looking into the words that people use to describe a situation you can extract valuable conclusions about their perspective on a specific topic. Common sources for narrative data include autobiographies, family stories, opinion pieces, and testimonials, among others. 

From a business perspective, narrative analysis can be useful to analyze customer behaviors and feelings towards a specific product, service, feature, or others. It provides unique and deep insights that can be extremely valuable. However, it has some drawbacks.  

The biggest weakness of this method is that the sample sizes are usually very small due to the complexity and time-consuming nature of the collection of narrative data. Plus, the way a subject tells a story will be significantly influenced by his or her specific experiences, making it very hard to replicate in a subsequent study. 

16. Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is used to understand the meaning behind any type of written, verbal, or symbolic discourse based on its political, social, or cultural context. It mixes the analysis of languages and situations together. This means that the way the content is constructed and the meaning behind it is significantly influenced by the culture and society it takes place in. For example, if you are analyzing political speeches you need to consider different context elements such as the politician's background, the current political context of the country, the audience to which the speech is directed, and so on. 

From a business point of view, discourse analysis is a great market research tool. It allows marketers to understand how the norms and ideas of the specific market work and how their customers relate to those ideas. It can be very useful to build a brand mission or develop a unique tone of voice. 

17. Grounded Theory Analysis

Traditionally, researchers decide on a method and hypothesis and start to collect the data to prove that hypothesis. The grounded theory is the only method that doesn’t require an initial research question or hypothesis as its value lies in the generation of new theories. With the grounded theory method, you can go into the analysis process with an open mind and explore the data to generate new theories through tests and revisions. In fact, it is not necessary to collect the data and then start to analyze it. Researchers usually start to find valuable insights as they are gathering the data. 

All of these elements make grounded theory a very valuable method as theories are fully backed by data instead of initial assumptions. It is a great technique to analyze poorly researched topics or find the causes behind specific company outcomes. For example, product managers and marketers might use the grounded theory to find the causes of high levels of customer churn and look into customer surveys and reviews to develop new theories about the causes. 

How To Analyze Data? Top 17 Data Analysis Techniques To Apply

17 top data analysis techniques by datapine

Now that we’ve answered the questions “what is data analysis’”, why is it important, and covered the different data analysis types, it’s time to dig deeper into how to perform your analysis by working through these 17 essential techniques.

1. Collaborate your needs

Before you begin analyzing or drilling down into any techniques, it’s crucial to sit down collaboratively with all key stakeholders within your organization, decide on your primary campaign or strategic goals, and gain a fundamental understanding of the types of insights that will best benefit your progress or provide you with the level of vision you need to evolve your organization.

2. Establish your questions

Once you’ve outlined your core objectives, you should consider which questions will need answering to help you achieve your mission. This is one of the most important techniques as it will shape the very foundations of your success.

To help you ask the right things and ensure your data works for you, you have to ask the right data analysis questions .

3. Data democratization

After giving your data analytics methodology some real direction, and knowing which questions need answering to extract optimum value from the information available to your organization, you should continue with democratization.

Data democratization is an action that aims to connect data from various sources efficiently and quickly so that anyone in your organization can access it at any given moment. You can extract data in text, images, videos, numbers, or any other format. And then perform cross-database analysis to achieve more advanced insights to share with the rest of the company interactively.  

Once you have decided on your most valuable sources, you need to take all of this into a structured format to start collecting your insights. For this purpose, datapine offers an easy all-in-one data connectors feature to integrate all your internal and external sources and manage them at your will. Additionally, datapine’s end-to-end solution automatically updates your data, allowing you to save time and focus on performing the right analysis to grow your company.

data connectors from datapine

4. Think of governance 

When collecting data in a business or research context you always need to think about security and privacy. With data breaches becoming a topic of concern for businesses, the need to protect your client's or subject’s sensitive information becomes critical. 

To ensure that all this is taken care of, you need to think of a data governance strategy. According to Gartner , this concept refers to “ the specification of decision rights and an accountability framework to ensure the appropriate behavior in the valuation, creation, consumption, and control of data and analytics .” In simpler words, data governance is a collection of processes, roles, and policies, that ensure the efficient use of data while still achieving the main company goals. It ensures that clear roles are in place for who can access the information and how they can access it. In time, this not only ensures that sensitive information is protected but also allows for an efficient analysis as a whole. 

5. Clean your data

After harvesting from so many sources you will be left with a vast amount of information that can be overwhelming to deal with. At the same time, you can be faced with incorrect data that can be misleading to your analysis. The smartest thing you can do to avoid dealing with this in the future is to clean the data. This is fundamental before visualizing it, as it will ensure that the insights you extract from it are correct.

There are many things that you need to look for in the cleaning process. The most important one is to eliminate any duplicate observations; this usually appears when using multiple internal and external sources of information. You can also add any missing codes, fix empty fields, and eliminate incorrectly formatted data.

Another usual form of cleaning is done with text data. As we mentioned earlier, most companies today analyze customer reviews, social media comments, questionnaires, and several other text inputs. In order for algorithms to detect patterns, text data needs to be revised to avoid invalid characters or any syntax or spelling errors. 

Most importantly, the aim of cleaning is to prevent you from arriving at false conclusions that can damage your company in the long run. By using clean data, you will also help BI solutions to interact better with your information and create better reports for your organization.

6. Set your KPIs

Once you’ve set your sources, cleaned your data, and established clear-cut questions you want your insights to answer, you need to set a host of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track, measure, and shape your progress in a number of key areas.

KPIs are critical to both qualitative and quantitative analysis research. This is one of the primary methods of data analysis you certainly shouldn’t overlook.

To help you set the best possible KPIs for your initiatives and activities, here is an example of a relevant logistics KPI : transportation-related costs. If you want to see more go explore our collection of key performance indicator examples .

Transportation costs logistics KPIs

7. Omit useless data

Having bestowed your data analysis tools and techniques with true purpose and defined your mission, you should explore the raw data you’ve collected from all sources and use your KPIs as a reference for chopping out any information you deem to be useless.

Trimming the informational fat is one of the most crucial methods of analysis as it will allow you to focus your analytical efforts and squeeze every drop of value from the remaining ‘lean’ information.

Any stats, facts, figures, or metrics that don’t align with your business goals or fit with your KPI management strategies should be eliminated from the equation.

8. Build a data management roadmap

While, at this point, this particular step is optional (you will have already gained a wealth of insight and formed a fairly sound strategy by now), creating a data governance roadmap will help your data analysis methods and techniques become successful on a more sustainable basis. These roadmaps, if developed properly, are also built so they can be tweaked and scaled over time.

Invest ample time in developing a roadmap that will help you store, manage, and handle your data internally, and you will make your analysis techniques all the more fluid and functional – one of the most powerful types of data analysis methods available today.

9. Integrate technology

There are many ways to analyze data, but one of the most vital aspects of analytical success in a business context is integrating the right decision support software and technology.

Robust analysis platforms will not only allow you to pull critical data from your most valuable sources while working with dynamic KPIs that will offer you actionable insights; it will also present them in a digestible, visual, interactive format from one central, live dashboard . A data methodology you can count on.

By integrating the right technology within your data analysis methodology, you’ll avoid fragmenting your insights, saving you time and effort while allowing you to enjoy the maximum value from your business’s most valuable insights.

For a look at the power of software for the purpose of analysis and to enhance your methods of analyzing, glance over our selection of dashboard examples .

10. Answer your questions

By considering each of the above efforts, working with the right technology, and fostering a cohesive internal culture where everyone buys into the different ways to analyze data as well as the power of digital intelligence, you will swiftly start to answer your most burning business questions. Arguably, the best way to make your data concepts accessible across the organization is through data visualization.

11. Visualize your data

Online data visualization is a powerful tool as it lets you tell a story with your metrics, allowing users across the organization to extract meaningful insights that aid business evolution – and it covers all the different ways to analyze data.

The purpose of analyzing is to make your entire organization more informed and intelligent, and with the right platform or dashboard, this is simpler than you think, as demonstrated by our marketing dashboard .

An executive dashboard example showcasing high-level marketing KPIs such as cost per lead, MQL, SQL, and cost per customer.

This visual, dynamic, and interactive online dashboard is a data analysis example designed to give Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) an overview of relevant metrics to help them understand if they achieved their monthly goals.

In detail, this example generated with a modern dashboard creator displays interactive charts for monthly revenues, costs, net income, and net income per customer; all of them are compared with the previous month so that you can understand how the data fluctuated. In addition, it shows a detailed summary of the number of users, customers, SQLs, and MQLs per month to visualize the whole picture and extract relevant insights or trends for your marketing reports .

The CMO dashboard is perfect for c-level management as it can help them monitor the strategic outcome of their marketing efforts and make data-driven decisions that can benefit the company exponentially.

12. Be careful with the interpretation

We already dedicated an entire post to data interpretation as it is a fundamental part of the process of data analysis. It gives meaning to the analytical information and aims to drive a concise conclusion from the analysis results. Since most of the time companies are dealing with data from many different sources, the interpretation stage needs to be done carefully and properly in order to avoid misinterpretations. 

To help you through the process, here we list three common practices that you need to avoid at all costs when looking at your data:

  • Correlation vs. causation: The human brain is formatted to find patterns. This behavior leads to one of the most common mistakes when performing interpretation: confusing correlation with causation. Although these two aspects can exist simultaneously, it is not correct to assume that because two things happened together, one provoked the other. A piece of advice to avoid falling into this mistake is never to trust just intuition, trust the data. If there is no objective evidence of causation, then always stick to correlation. 
  • Confirmation bias: This phenomenon describes the tendency to select and interpret only the data necessary to prove one hypothesis, often ignoring the elements that might disprove it. Even if it's not done on purpose, confirmation bias can represent a real problem, as excluding relevant information can lead to false conclusions and, therefore, bad business decisions. To avoid it, always try to disprove your hypothesis instead of proving it, share your analysis with other team members, and avoid drawing any conclusions before the entire analytical project is finalized.
  • Statistical significance: To put it in short words, statistical significance helps analysts understand if a result is actually accurate or if it happened because of a sampling error or pure chance. The level of statistical significance needed might depend on the sample size and the industry being analyzed. In any case, ignoring the significance of a result when it might influence decision-making can be a huge mistake.

13. Build a narrative

Now, we’re going to look at how you can bring all of these elements together in a way that will benefit your business - starting with a little something called data storytelling.

The human brain responds incredibly well to strong stories or narratives. Once you’ve cleansed, shaped, and visualized your most invaluable data using various BI dashboard tools , you should strive to tell a story - one with a clear-cut beginning, middle, and end.

By doing so, you will make your analytical efforts more accessible, digestible, and universal, empowering more people within your organization to use your discoveries to their actionable advantage.

14. Consider autonomous technology

Autonomous technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), play a significant role in the advancement of understanding how to analyze data more effectively.

Gartner predicts that by the end of this year, 80% of emerging technologies will be developed with AI foundations. This is a testament to the ever-growing power and value of autonomous technologies.

At the moment, these technologies are revolutionizing the analysis industry. Some examples that we mentioned earlier are neural networks, intelligent alarms, and sentiment analysis.

15. Share the load

If you work with the right tools and dashboards, you will be able to present your metrics in a digestible, value-driven format, allowing almost everyone in the organization to connect with and use relevant data to their advantage.

Modern dashboards consolidate data from various sources, providing access to a wealth of insights in one centralized location, no matter if you need to monitor recruitment metrics or generate reports that need to be sent across numerous departments. Moreover, these cutting-edge tools offer access to dashboards from a multitude of devices, meaning that everyone within the business can connect with practical insights remotely - and share the load.

Once everyone is able to work with a data-driven mindset, you will catalyze the success of your business in ways you never thought possible. And when it comes to knowing how to analyze data, this kind of collaborative approach is essential.

16. Data analysis tools

In order to perform high-quality analysis of data, it is fundamental to use tools and software that will ensure the best results. Here we leave you a small summary of four fundamental categories of data analysis tools for your organization.

  • Business Intelligence: BI tools allow you to process significant amounts of data from several sources in any format. Through this, you can not only analyze and monitor your data to extract relevant insights but also create interactive reports and dashboards to visualize your KPIs and use them for your company's good. datapine is an amazing online BI software that is focused on delivering powerful online analysis features that are accessible to beginner and advanced users. Like this, it offers a full-service solution that includes cutting-edge analysis of data, KPIs visualization, live dashboards, reporting, and artificial intelligence technologies to predict trends and minimize risk.
  • Statistical analysis: These tools are usually designed for scientists, statisticians, market researchers, and mathematicians, as they allow them to perform complex statistical analyses with methods like regression analysis, predictive analysis, and statistical modeling. A good tool to perform this type of analysis is R-Studio as it offers a powerful data modeling and hypothesis testing feature that can cover both academic and general data analysis. This tool is one of the favorite ones in the industry, due to its capability for data cleaning, data reduction, and performing advanced analysis with several statistical methods. Another relevant tool to mention is SPSS from IBM. The software offers advanced statistical analysis for users of all skill levels. Thanks to a vast library of machine learning algorithms, text analysis, and a hypothesis testing approach it can help your company find relevant insights to drive better decisions. SPSS also works as a cloud service that enables you to run it anywhere.
  • SQL Consoles: SQL is a programming language often used to handle structured data in relational databases. Tools like these are popular among data scientists as they are extremely effective in unlocking these databases' value. Undoubtedly, one of the most used SQL software in the market is MySQL Workbench . This tool offers several features such as a visual tool for database modeling and monitoring, complete SQL optimization, administration tools, and visual performance dashboards to keep track of KPIs.
  • Data Visualization: These tools are used to represent your data through charts, graphs, and maps that allow you to find patterns and trends in the data. datapine's already mentioned BI platform also offers a wealth of powerful online data visualization tools with several benefits. Some of them include: delivering compelling data-driven presentations to share with your entire company, the ability to see your data online with any device wherever you are, an interactive dashboard design feature that enables you to showcase your results in an interactive and understandable way, and to perform online self-service reports that can be used simultaneously with several other people to enhance team productivity.

17. Refine your process constantly 

Last is a step that might seem obvious to some people, but it can be easily ignored if you think you are done. Once you have extracted the needed results, you should always take a retrospective look at your project and think about what you can improve. As you saw throughout this long list of techniques, data analysis is a complex process that requires constant refinement. For this reason, you should always go one step further and keep improving. 

Quality Criteria For Data Analysis

So far we’ve covered a list of methods and techniques that should help you perform efficient data analysis. But how do you measure the quality and validity of your results? This is done with the help of some science quality criteria. Here we will go into a more theoretical area that is critical to understanding the fundamentals of statistical analysis in science. However, you should also be aware of these steps in a business context, as they will allow you to assess the quality of your results in the correct way. Let’s dig in. 

  • Internal validity: The results of a survey are internally valid if they measure what they are supposed to measure and thus provide credible results. In other words , internal validity measures the trustworthiness of the results and how they can be affected by factors such as the research design, operational definitions, how the variables are measured, and more. For instance, imagine you are doing an interview to ask people if they brush their teeth two times a day. While most of them will answer yes, you can still notice that their answers correspond to what is socially acceptable, which is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. In this case, you can’t be 100% sure if respondents actually brush their teeth twice a day or if they just say that they do, therefore, the internal validity of this interview is very low. 
  • External validity: Essentially, external validity refers to the extent to which the results of your research can be applied to a broader context. It basically aims to prove that the findings of a study can be applied in the real world. If the research can be applied to other settings, individuals, and times, then the external validity is high. 
  • Reliability : If your research is reliable, it means that it can be reproduced. If your measurement were repeated under the same conditions, it would produce similar results. This means that your measuring instrument consistently produces reliable results. For example, imagine a doctor building a symptoms questionnaire to detect a specific disease in a patient. Then, various other doctors use this questionnaire but end up diagnosing the same patient with a different condition. This means the questionnaire is not reliable in detecting the initial disease. Another important note here is that in order for your research to be reliable, it also needs to be objective. If the results of a study are the same, independent of who assesses them or interprets them, the study can be considered reliable. Let’s see the objectivity criteria in more detail now. 
  • Objectivity: In data science, objectivity means that the researcher needs to stay fully objective when it comes to its analysis. The results of a study need to be affected by objective criteria and not by the beliefs, personality, or values of the researcher. Objectivity needs to be ensured when you are gathering the data, for example, when interviewing individuals, the questions need to be asked in a way that doesn't influence the results. Paired with this, objectivity also needs to be thought of when interpreting the data. If different researchers reach the same conclusions, then the study is objective. For this last point, you can set predefined criteria to interpret the results to ensure all researchers follow the same steps. 

The discussed quality criteria cover mostly potential influences in a quantitative context. Analysis in qualitative research has by default additional subjective influences that must be controlled in a different way. Therefore, there are other quality criteria for this kind of research such as credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. You can see each of them more in detail on this resource . 

Data Analysis Limitations & Barriers

Analyzing data is not an easy task. As you’ve seen throughout this post, there are many steps and techniques that you need to apply in order to extract useful information from your research. While a well-performed analysis can bring various benefits to your organization it doesn't come without limitations. In this section, we will discuss some of the main barriers you might encounter when conducting an analysis. Let’s see them more in detail. 

  • Lack of clear goals: No matter how good your data or analysis might be if you don’t have clear goals or a hypothesis the process might be worthless. While we mentioned some methods that don’t require a predefined hypothesis, it is always better to enter the analytical process with some clear guidelines of what you are expecting to get out of it, especially in a business context in which data is utilized to support important strategic decisions. 
  • Objectivity: Arguably one of the biggest barriers when it comes to data analysis in research is to stay objective. When trying to prove a hypothesis, researchers might find themselves, intentionally or unintentionally, directing the results toward an outcome that they want. To avoid this, always question your assumptions and avoid confusing facts with opinions. You can also show your findings to a research partner or external person to confirm that your results are objective. 
  • Data representation: A fundamental part of the analytical procedure is the way you represent your data. You can use various graphs and charts to represent your findings, but not all of them will work for all purposes. Choosing the wrong visual can not only damage your analysis but can mislead your audience, therefore, it is important to understand when to use each type of data depending on your analytical goals. Our complete guide on the types of graphs and charts lists 20 different visuals with examples of when to use them. 
  • Flawed correlation : Misleading statistics can significantly damage your research. We’ve already pointed out a few interpretation issues previously in the post, but it is an important barrier that we can't avoid addressing here as well. Flawed correlations occur when two variables appear related to each other but they are not. Confusing correlations with causation can lead to a wrong interpretation of results which can lead to building wrong strategies and loss of resources, therefore, it is very important to identify the different interpretation mistakes and avoid them. 
  • Sample size: A very common barrier to a reliable and efficient analysis process is the sample size. In order for the results to be trustworthy, the sample size should be representative of what you are analyzing. For example, imagine you have a company of 1000 employees and you ask the question “do you like working here?” to 50 employees of which 49 say yes, which means 95%. Now, imagine you ask the same question to the 1000 employees and 950 say yes, which also means 95%. Saying that 95% of employees like working in the company when the sample size was only 50 is not a representative or trustworthy conclusion. The significance of the results is way more accurate when surveying a bigger sample size.   
  • Privacy concerns: In some cases, data collection can be subjected to privacy regulations. Businesses gather all kinds of information from their customers from purchasing behaviors to addresses and phone numbers. If this falls into the wrong hands due to a breach, it can affect the security and confidentiality of your clients. To avoid this issue, you need to collect only the data that is needed for your research and, if you are using sensitive facts, make it anonymous so customers are protected. The misuse of customer data can severely damage a business's reputation, so it is important to keep an eye on privacy. 
  • Lack of communication between teams : When it comes to performing data analysis on a business level, it is very likely that each department and team will have different goals and strategies. However, they are all working for the same common goal of helping the business run smoothly and keep growing. When teams are not connected and communicating with each other, it can directly affect the way general strategies are built. To avoid these issues, tools such as data dashboards enable teams to stay connected through data in a visually appealing way. 
  • Innumeracy : Businesses are working with data more and more every day. While there are many BI tools available to perform effective analysis, data literacy is still a constant barrier. Not all employees know how to apply analysis techniques or extract insights from them. To prevent this from happening, you can implement different training opportunities that will prepare every relevant user to deal with data. 

Key Data Analysis Skills

As you've learned throughout this lengthy guide, analyzing data is a complex task that requires a lot of knowledge and skills. That said, thanks to the rise of self-service tools the process is way more accessible and agile than it once was. Regardless, there are still some key skills that are valuable to have when working with data, we list the most important ones below.

  • Critical and statistical thinking: To successfully analyze data you need to be creative and think out of the box. Yes, that might sound like a weird statement considering that data is often tight to facts. However, a great level of critical thinking is required to uncover connections, come up with a valuable hypothesis, and extract conclusions that go a step further from the surface. This, of course, needs to be complemented by statistical thinking and an understanding of numbers. 
  • Data cleaning: Anyone who has ever worked with data before will tell you that the cleaning and preparation process accounts for 80% of a data analyst's work, therefore, the skill is fundamental. But not just that, not cleaning the data adequately can also significantly damage the analysis which can lead to poor decision-making in a business scenario. While there are multiple tools that automate the cleaning process and eliminate the possibility of human error, it is still a valuable skill to dominate. 
  • Data visualization: Visuals make the information easier to understand and analyze, not only for professional users but especially for non-technical ones. Having the necessary skills to not only choose the right chart type but know when to apply it correctly is key. This also means being able to design visually compelling charts that make the data exploration process more efficient. 
  • SQL: The Structured Query Language or SQL is a programming language used to communicate with databases. It is fundamental knowledge as it enables you to update, manipulate, and organize data from relational databases which are the most common databases used by companies. It is fairly easy to learn and one of the most valuable skills when it comes to data analysis. 
  • Communication skills: This is a skill that is especially valuable in a business environment. Being able to clearly communicate analytical outcomes to colleagues is incredibly important, especially when the information you are trying to convey is complex for non-technical people. This applies to in-person communication as well as written format, for example, when generating a dashboard or report. While this might be considered a “soft” skill compared to the other ones we mentioned, it should not be ignored as you most likely will need to share analytical findings with others no matter the context. 

Data Analysis In The Big Data Environment

Big data is invaluable to today’s businesses, and by using different methods for data analysis, it’s possible to view your data in a way that can help you turn insight into positive action.

To inspire your efforts and put the importance of big data into context, here are some insights that you should know:

  • By 2026 the industry of big data is expected to be worth approximately $273.4 billion.
  • 94% of enterprises say that analyzing data is important for their growth and digital transformation. 
  • Companies that exploit the full potential of their data can increase their operating margins by 60% .
  • We already told you the benefits of Artificial Intelligence through this article. This industry's financial impact is expected to grow up to $40 billion by 2025.

Data analysis concepts may come in many forms, but fundamentally, any solid methodology will help to make your business more streamlined, cohesive, insightful, and successful than ever before.

Key Takeaways From Data Analysis 

As we reach the end of our data analysis journey, we leave a small summary of the main methods and techniques to perform excellent analysis and grow your business.

17 Essential Types of Data Analysis Methods:

  • Cluster analysis
  • Cohort analysis
  • Regression analysis
  • Factor analysis
  • Neural Networks
  • Data Mining
  • Text analysis
  • Time series analysis
  • Decision trees
  • Conjoint analysis 
  • Correspondence Analysis
  • Multidimensional Scaling 
  • Content analysis 
  • Thematic analysis
  • Narrative analysis 
  • Grounded theory analysis
  • Discourse analysis 

Top 17 Data Analysis Techniques:

  • Collaborate your needs
  • Establish your questions
  • Data democratization
  • Think of data governance 
  • Clean your data
  • Set your KPIs
  • Omit useless data
  • Build a data management roadmap
  • Integrate technology
  • Answer your questions
  • Visualize your data
  • Interpretation of data
  • Consider autonomous technology
  • Build a narrative
  • Share the load
  • Data Analysis tools
  • Refine your process constantly 

We’ve pondered the data analysis definition and drilled down into the practical applications of data-centric analytics, and one thing is clear: by taking measures to arrange your data and making your metrics work for you, it’s possible to transform raw information into action - the kind of that will push your business to the next level.

Yes, good data analytics techniques result in enhanced business intelligence (BI). To help you understand this notion in more detail, read our exploration of business intelligence reporting .

And, if you’re ready to perform your own analysis, drill down into your facts and figures while interacting with your data on astonishing visuals, you can try our software for a free, 14-day trial .

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Home » Graphical Methods – Types, Examples and Guide

Graphical Methods – Types, Examples and Guide

Table of Contents

Graphical Methods

Graphical Methods

Definition:

Graphical methods refer to techniques used to visually represent data, relationships, or processes using charts, graphs, diagrams, or other graphical formats. These methods are widely used in various fields such as science, engineering, business, and social sciences, among others, to analyze, interpret and communicate complex information in a concise and understandable way.

Types of Graphical Methods

Here are some of the most common types of graphical methods for data analysis and visual presentation:

Line Graphs

These are commonly used to show trends over time, such as the stock prices of a particular company or the temperature over a certain period. They consist of a series of data points connected by a line that shows the trend of the data over time. Line graphs are useful for identifying patterns in data, such as seasonal changes or long-term trends.

These are commonly used to compare values of different categories, such as sales figures for different products or the number of students in different grade levels. Bar charts use bars that are either horizontal or vertical and represent the data values. They are useful for comparing data visually and identifying differences between categories.

These are used to show how a whole is divided into parts, such as the percentage of students in a school who are enrolled in different programs. Pie charts use a circle that is divided into sectors, with each sector representing a portion of the whole. They are useful for showing proportions and identifying which parts of a whole are larger or smaller.

Scatter Plots

These are used to visualize the relationship between two variables, such as the correlation between a person’s height and weight. Scatter plots consist of a series of data points that are plotted on a graph and connected by a line or curve. They are useful for identifying trends and relationships between variables.

These are used to show the distribution of data across a two-dimensional plane, such as a map of a city showing the density of population in different areas. Heat maps use color-coded cells to represent different levels of data, with darker colors indicating higher values. They are useful for identifying areas of high or low density and for highlighting patterns in data.

These are used to show the distribution of data in a single variable, such as the distribution of ages of a group of people. Histograms use bars that represent the frequency of each data value, with taller bars indicating a higher frequency. They are useful for identifying the shape of a distribution and for identifying outliers or unusual data values.

Network Diagrams

These are used to show the relationships between different entities or nodes, such as the relationships between people in a social network. Network diagrams consist of nodes that are connected by lines that represent the relationship. They are useful for identifying patterns in complex data and for understanding the structure of a network.

Box plots, also known as box-and-whisker plots, are a type of graphical method used to show the distribution of data in a single variable. They consist of a box with whiskers extending from the top and bottom of the box. The box represents the middle 50% of the data, with the median value indicated by a line inside the box. The whiskers represent the range of the data, with any data points outside the whiskers indicated as outliers. Box plots are useful for identifying the spread and shape of a distribution and for identifying outliers or unusual data values.

Applications of Graphical Methods

Graphical methods have a wide range of applications in various fields, including:

  • Business : Graphical methods are commonly used in business to analyze sales data, financial data, and other types of data. They are useful for identifying trends, patterns, and outliers, as well as for presenting data in a clear and concise manner to stakeholders.
  • Science and engineering: Graphical methods are used extensively in scientific and engineering fields to analyze data and to present research findings. They are useful for visualizing complex data sets and for identifying relationships between variables.
  • Social sciences: Graphical methods are used in social sciences to analyze and present data related to human behavior, such as demographics, survey results, and statistical analyses. They are useful for identifying trends and patterns in large data sets and for communicating findings to a broader audience.
  • Education : Graphical methods are used in education to present information to students and to help them understand complex concepts. They are useful for visualizing data and for presenting information in a way that is easy to understand.
  • Healthcare : Graphical methods are used in healthcare to analyze patient data, to track disease outbreaks, and to present medical information to patients. They are useful for identifying patterns and trends in patient data and for communicating medical information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Sports : Graphical methods are used in sports to analyze and present data related to player performance, team statistics, and game outcomes. They are useful for identifying trends and patterns in player and team data and for communicating this information to coaches, players, and fans.

Examples of Graphical Methods

Here are some examples of real-time applications of graphical methods:

  • Stock Market: Line graphs, candlestick charts, and bar charts are widely used in real-time trading systems to display stock prices and trends over time. Traders use these charts to analyze historical data and make informed decisions about buying and selling stocks in real-time.
  • Weather Forecasting : Heat maps and radar maps are commonly used in weather forecasting to display current weather conditions and to predict future weather patterns. These maps are useful for tracking the movement of storms, identifying areas of high and low pressure, and predicting the likelihood of severe weather events.
  • Social Media Analytics: Scatter plots and network diagrams are commonly used in social media analytics to track the spread of information across social networks. Analysts use these graphs to identify patterns in user behavior, to track the popularity of specific topics or hashtags, and to monitor the influence of key opinion leaders.
  • Traffic Analysis: Heat maps and network diagrams are used in traffic analysis to visualize traffic flow patterns and to identify areas of congestion or accidents. These graphs are useful for predicting traffic patterns, optimizing traffic flow, and improving transportation infrastructure.
  • Medical Diagnostics: Box plots and histograms are commonly used in medical diagnostics to display the distribution of patient data, such as blood pressure, heart rate, or blood sugar levels. These graphs are useful for identifying patterns in patient data, diagnosing medical conditions, and monitoring the effectiveness of treatments in real-time.
  • Cybersecurity: Heat maps and network diagrams are used in cybersecurity to visualize network traffic patterns and to identify potential security threats. These graphs are useful for identifying anomalies in network traffic, detecting and mitigating cyber attacks, and improving network security protocols.

How to use Graphical Methods

Here are some general steps to follow when using graphical methods to analyze and present data:

  • Identify the research question: Before creating any graphs, it’s important to identify the research question or hypothesis you want to explore. This will help you select the appropriate type of graph and ensure that the data you collect is relevant to your research question.
  • Collect and organize the data: Collect the data you need to answer your research question and organize it in a way that makes it easy to work with. This may involve sorting, filtering, or cleaning the data to ensure that it is accurate and relevant.
  • Select the appropriate graph : There are many different types of graphs available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Select the appropriate graph based on the type of data you have and the research question you are exploring. For example, a scatterplot may be appropriate for exploring the relationship between two continuous variables, while a bar chart may be appropriate for comparing categorical data.
  • Create the graph: Once you have selected the appropriate graph, create it using software or a tool that allows you to customize the graph based on your needs. Be sure to include appropriate labels and titles, and ensure that the graph is clearly legible.
  • Analyze the graph: Once you have created the graph, analyze it to identify patterns, trends, and relationships in the data. Look for outliers or other anomalies that may require further investigation.
  • Draw conclusions: Based on your analysis of the graph, draw conclusions about the research question you are exploring. Use the graph to support your conclusions and to communicate your findings to others.
  • Iterate and refine: Finally, refine your graph or create additional graphs as needed to further explore your research question. Iteratively refining and revising your graphs can help to ensure that you are accurately representing the data and that you are drawing the appropriate conclusions.

When to use Graphical Methods

Graphical methods can be used in a variety of situations to help analyze, interpret, and communicate data. Here are some general guidelines on when to use graphical methods:

  • To identify patterns and trends: Graphical methods are useful for identifying patterns and trends in data, which may be difficult to see in raw data tables or spreadsheets. Graphs can reveal trends that may not be immediately apparent in the data, making it easier to draw conclusions and make predictions.
  • To compare data: Graphs can be used to compare data from different sources or over different time periods. Graphical comparisons can make it easier to identify differences or similarities in the data, which can be useful for making decisions and taking action.
  • To summarize data : Graphs can be used to summarize large amounts of data in a single visual display. This can be particularly useful when presenting data to a broad audience, as it can help to simplify complex data sets and make them more accessible.
  • To communicate data: Graphs can be used to communicate data and findings to a variety of audiences, including stakeholders, colleagues, and the general public. Graphs can be particularly useful in situations where data needs to be presented quickly and in a way that is easy to understand.
  • To identify outliers: Graphical methods are useful for identifying outliers or anomalies in the data. Outliers can be indicative of errors or unusual events, and may warrant further investigation.

Purpose of Graphical Methods

The purpose of graphical methods is to help people analyze, interpret, and communicate data in a way that is both accurate and understandable. Graphical methods provide visual representations of data that can be easier to interpret than tables of numbers or raw data sets. Graphical methods help to reveal patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent in the data, making it easier to draw conclusions and make predictions. They can also help to identify outliers or unusual data points that may warrant further investigation.

In addition to helping people analyze and interpret data, graphical methods also serve an important communication function. Graphs can be used to present data to a wide range of audiences, including stakeholders, colleagues, and the general public. Graphs can help to simplify complex data sets, making them more accessible and easier to understand. By presenting data in a clear and concise way, graphical methods can help people make informed decisions and take action based on the data.

Overall, the purpose of graphical methods is to provide a powerful tool for analyzing, interpreting, and communicating data. Graphical methods help people to better understand the data they are working with, to identify patterns and trends, and to make informed decisions based on the data.

Characteristics of Graphical Methods

Here are some characteristics of graphical methods:

  • Visual Representation: Graphical methods provide a visual representation of data, which can be easier to interpret than tables of numbers or raw data sets. Graphs can help to reveal patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent in the data.
  • Simplicity : Graphical methods simplify complex data sets, making them more accessible and easier to understand. By presenting data in a clear and concise way, graphical methods can help people make informed decisions and take action based on the data.
  • Comparability : Graphical methods can be used to compare data from different sources or over different time periods. This can help to identify differences or similarities in the data, which can be useful for making decisions and taking action.
  • Flexibility : Graphical methods can be adapted to different types of data, including continuous, categorical, and ordinal data. Different types of graphs can be used to display different types of data, depending on the characteristics of the data and the research question.
  • Accuracy : Graphical methods should accurately represent the data being analyzed. Graphs should be properly scaled and labeled to avoid distorting the data or misleading viewers.
  • Clarity : Graphical methods should be clear and easy to read. Graphs should be designed with the viewer in mind, using appropriate colors, labels, and titles to ensure that the message of the graph is conveyed effectively.

Advantages of Graphical Methods

Graphical methods offer several advantages for analyzing and presenting data, including:

  • Clear visualization: Graphical methods provide a clear and intuitive visual representation of data that can help people understand complex relationships, trends, and patterns in the data. This can be particularly useful when dealing with large and complex data sets.
  • Efficient communication: Graphical methods can help to communicate complex data sets in an efficient and accessible way. Visual representations can be easier to understand than numerical data alone, and can help to convey key messages quickly.
  • Effective comparison: Graphical methods allow for easy comparison between different data sets, making it easier to identify trends, patterns, and differences. This can help in making decisions, identifying areas for improvement, or developing new insights.
  • Improved decision-making: Graphical methods can help to inform decision-making by presenting data in a clear and easy-to-understand format. They can also help to identify key areas of focus, enabling individuals or teams to make more informed decisions.
  • Increased engagement: Graphical methods can help to engage audiences by presenting data in an engaging and interactive way. This can be particularly useful in presentations or reports, where visual representations can help to maintain audience attention and interest.
  • Better understanding: Graphical methods can help individuals to better understand the data they are working with, by providing a clear and intuitive visual representation of the data. This can lead to improved insights and decision-making, as well as better understanding of the implications of the data.

Limitations of Graphical Methods

Here are a few limitations to consider:

  • Misleading representation: Graphical methods can potentially misrepresent data if they are not designed properly. For example, inappropriate scaling or labeling of the axes or the use of certain types of graphs can create a distorted view of the data.
  • Limited scope: Graphical methods can only display a limited amount of data, which can make it difficult to capture the full complexity of a data set. Additionally, some types of data may be difficult to represent visually.
  • Time-consuming : Creating graphs can be a time-consuming process, particularly if multiple graphs need to be created and analyzed. This can be a limitation in situations where time is limited or resources are scarce.
  • Technical skills: Some graphical methods require technical skills to create and interpret. For example, certain types of graphs may require knowledge of specialized software or programming languages.
  • Interpretation : Interpreting graphs can be subjective, and the same graph can be interpreted in different ways by different people. This can lead to confusion or disagreements when using graphs to communicate data.
  • Accessibility : Some graphical methods may not be accessible to all audiences, particularly those with visual impairments. Additionally, some types of graphs may not be accessible to those with limited literacy or numeracy skills.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Blog Beginner Guides 8 Types of Presentations You Should Know [+Examples & Tips]

8 Types of Presentations You Should Know [+Examples & Tips]

Written by: Krystle Wong Aug 11, 2023

Types of Presentation

From persuasive pitches that influence opinions to instructional demonstrations that teach skills, the different types of presentations serve a unique purpose, tailored to specific objectives and audiences.

Presentations that are tailored to its objectives and audiences are more engaging and memorable. They capture attention, maintain interest and leave a lasting impression. 

Don’t worry if you’re no designer —  Whether you need data-driven visuals, persuasive graphics or engaging design elements, Venngage can empower you to craft presentations that stand out and effectively convey your message.

Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface, extensive presentation template library and customizable design options make it a valuable tool for creating slides that align with your specific goals and target audience. 

Click to jump ahead:

8 Different types of presentations every presenter must know

How do i choose the right type of presentation for my topic or audience, types of presentation faq, 5 steps to create a presentation with venngage .

different types of data presentation methods

When it comes to presentations, versatility is the name of the game. Having a variety of presentation styles up your sleeve can make a world of difference in keeping your audience engaged. Here are 8 essential presentation types that every presenter should be well-acquainted with:

1. Informative presentation

Ever sat through a presentation that left you feeling enlightened? That’s the power of an informative presentation. 

This presentation style is all about sharing knowledge and shedding light on a particular topic. Whether you’re diving into the depths of quantum physics or explaining the intricacies of the latest social media trends, informative presentations aim to increase the audience’s understanding.

When delivering an informative presentation, simplify complex topics with clear visuals and relatable examples. Organize your content logically, starting with the basics and gradually delving deeper and always remember to keep jargon to a minimum and encourage questions for clarity.

Academic presentations and research presentations are great examples of informative presentations. An effective academic presentation involves having clear structure, credible evidence, engaging delivery and supporting visuals. Provide context to emphasize the topic’s significance, practice to perfect timing, and be ready to address anticipated questions. 

different types of data presentation methods

2. Persuasive presentation

If you’ve ever been swayed by a passionate speaker armed with compelling arguments, you’ve experienced a persuasive presentation . 

This type of presentation is like a verbal tug-of-war, aiming to convince the audience to see things from a specific perspective. Expect to encounter solid evidence, logical reasoning and a dash of emotional appeal.

With persuasive presentations, it’s important to know your audience inside out and tailor your message to their interests and concerns. Craft a compelling narrative with a strong opening, a solid argument and a memorable closing. Additionally, use visuals strategically to enhance your points.

Examples of persuasive presentations include presentations for environmental conservations, policy change, social issues and more. Here are some engaging presentation templates you can use to get started with: 

different types of data presentation methods

3. Demonstration or how-to presentation

A Demonstration or How-To Presentation is a type of presentation where the speaker showcases a process, technique, or procedure step by step, providing the audience with clear instructions on how to replicate the demonstrated action. 

A demonstrative presentation is particularly useful when teaching practical skills or showing how something is done in a hands-on manner.

These presentations are commonly used in various settings, including educational workshops, training sessions, cooking classes, DIY tutorials, technology demonstrations and more. Designing creative slides for your how-to presentations can heighten engagement and foster better information retention. 

Speakers can also consider breaking down the process into manageable steps, using visual aids, props and sometimes even live demonstrations to illustrate each step. The key is to provide clear and concise instructions, engage the audience with interactive elements and address any questions that may arise during the presentation.

different types of data presentation methods

4. Training or instructional presentation

Training presentations are geared towards imparting practical skills, procedures or concepts — think of this as the more focused cousin of the demonstration presentation. 

Whether you’re teaching a group of new employees the ins and outs of a software or enlightening budding chefs on the art of soufflé-making, training presentations are all about turning novices into experts.

To maximize the impact of your training or instructional presentation, break down complex concepts into digestible segments. Consider using real-life examples to illustrate each point and create a connection. 

You can also create an interactive presentation by incorporating elements like quizzes or group activities to reinforce understanding.

different types of data presentation methods

5. Sales presentation

Sales presentations are one of the many types of business presentations and the bread and butter of businesses looking to woo potential clients or customers. With a sprinkle of charm and a dash of persuasion, these presentations showcase products, services or ideas with one end goal in mind: sealing the deal.

A successful sales presentation often has key characteristics such as a clear value proposition, strong storytelling, confidence and a compelling call to action. Hence, when presenting to your clients or stakeholders, focus on benefits rather than just features. 

Anticipate and address potential objections before they arise and use storytelling to showcase how your offering solves a specific problem for your audience. Utilizing visual aids is also a great way to make your points stand out and stay memorable.

A sales presentation can be used to promote service offerings, product launches or even consultancy proposals that outline the expertise and industry experience of a business. Here are some template examples you can use for your next sales presentation:

different types of data presentation methods

6. Pitch presentation

Pitch presentations are your ticket to garnering the interest and support of potential investors, partners or stakeholders. Think of your pitch deck as your chance to paint a vivid picture of your business idea or proposal and secure the resources you need to bring it to life. 

Business presentations aside, individuals can also create a portfolio presentation to showcase their skills, experience and achievements to potential clients, employers or investors. 

Craft a concise and compelling narrative. Clearly define the problem your idea solves and how it stands out in the market. Anticipate questions and practice your answers. Project confidence and passion for your idea.

different types of data presentation methods

7. Motivational or inspirational presentation

Feeling the need for a morale boost? That’s where motivational presentations step in. These talks are designed to uplift and inspire, often featuring personal anecdotes, heartwarming stories and a generous serving of encouragement.

Form a connection with your audience by sharing personal stories that resonate with your message. Use a storytelling style with relatable anecdotes and powerful metaphors to create an emotional connection. Keep the energy high and wrap up your inspirational presentations with a clear call to action.

Inspirational talks and leadership presentations aside, a motivational or inspirational presentation can also be a simple presentation aimed at boosting confidence, a motivational speech focused on embracing change and more.

different types of data presentation methods

8. Status or progress report presentation

Projects and businesses are like living organisms, constantly evolving and changing. Status or progress report presentations keep everyone in the loop by providing updates on achievements, challenges and future plans. It’s like a GPS for your team, ensuring everyone stays on track.

Be transparent about achievements, challenges and future plans. Utilize infographics, charts and diagrams to present your data visually and simplify information. By visually representing data, it becomes easier to identify trends, make predictions and strategize based on evidence.

different types of data presentation methods

Now that you’ve learned about the different types of presentation methods and how to use them, you’re on the right track to creating a good presentation that can boost your confidence and enhance your presentation skills . 

Selecting the most suitable presentation style is akin to choosing the right outfit for an occasion – it greatly influences how your message is perceived. Here’s a more detailed guide to help you make that crucial decision:

1. Define your objectives

Begin by clarifying your presentation’s goals. Are you aiming to educate, persuade, motivate, train or perhaps sell a concept? Your objectives will guide you to the most suitable presentation type. 

For instance, if you’re aiming to inform, an informative presentation would be a natural fit. On the other hand, a persuasive presentation suits the goal of swaying opinions.

2. Know your audience

Regardless if you’re giving an in-person or a virtual presentation — delve into the characteristics of your audience. Consider factors like their expertise level, familiarity with the topic, interests and expectations. 

If your audience consists of professionals in your field, a more technical presentation might be suitable. However, if your audience is diverse and includes newcomers, an approachable and engaging style might work better.

different types of data presentation methods

3. Analyze your content

Reflect on the content you intend to present. Is it data-heavy, rich in personal stories or focused on practical skills? Different presentation styles serve different content types. 

For data-driven content, an informative or instructional presentation might work best. For emotional stories, a motivational presentation could be a compelling choice.

4. Consider time constraints

Evaluate the time you have at your disposal. If your presentation needs to be concise due to time limitations, opt for a presentation style that allows you to convey your key points effectively within the available timeframe. A pitch presentation, for example, often requires delivering impactful information within a short span.

5. Leverage visuals

Visual aids are powerful tools in presentations. Consider whether your content would benefit from visual representation. If your PowerPoint presentations involve step-by-step instructions or demonstrations, a how-to presentation with clear visuals would be advantageous. Conversely, if your content is more conceptual, a motivational presentation could rely more on spoken words.

different types of data presentation methods

6. Align with the setting

Take the presentation environment into account. Are you presenting in a formal business setting, a casual workshop or a conference? Your setting can influence the level of formality and interactivity in your presentation. For instance, a demonstration presentation might be ideal for a hands-on workshop, while a persuasive presentation is great for conferences.

7. Gauge audience interaction

Determine the level of audience engagement you want. Interactive presentations work well for training sessions, workshops and small group settings, while informative or persuasive presentations might be more one-sided.

8. Flexibility

Stay open to adjusting your presentation style on the fly. Sometimes, unexpected factors might require a change of presentation style. Be prepared to adjust on the spot if audience engagement or reactions indicate that a different approach would be more effective.

Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the best type of presentation may vary depending on the specific situation and your unique communication goals. By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the most effective presentation type to successfully engage and communicate with your audience.

To save time, use a presentation software or check out these presentation design and presentation background guides to create a presentation that stands out.    

different types of data presentation methods

What are some effective ways to begin and end a presentation?

Capture your audience’s attention from the start of your presentation by using a surprising statistic, a compelling story or a thought-provoking question related to your topic. 

To conclude your presentation , summarize your main points, reinforce your key message and leave a lasting impression with a powerful call to action or a memorable quote that resonates with your presentation’s theme.

How can I make my presentation more engaging and interactive?

To create an engaging and interactive presentation for your audience, incorporate visual elements such as images, graphs and videos to illustrate your points visually. Share relatable anecdotes or real-life examples to create a connection with your audience. 

You can also integrate interactive elements like live polls, open-ended questions or small group discussions to encourage participation and keep your audience actively engaged throughout your presentation.

Which types of presentations require special markings

Some presentation types require special markings such as how sales presentations require persuasive techniques like emphasizing benefits, addressing objections and using compelling visuals to showcase products or services. 

Demonstrations and how-to presentations on the other hand require clear markings for each step, ensuring the audience can follow along seamlessly. 

That aside, pitch presentations require highlighting unique selling points, market potential and the competitive edge of your idea, making it stand out to potential investors or partners.

Need some inspiration on how to make a presentation that will captivate an audience? Here are 120+ presentation ideas to help you get started. 

Creating a stunning and impactful presentation with Venngage is a breeze. Whether you’re crafting a business pitch, a training presentation or any other type of presentation, follow these five steps to create a professional presentation that stands out:

  • Sign up and log in to Venngage to access the editor.
  • Choose a presentation template that matches your topic or style.
  • Customize content, colors, fonts, and background to personalize your presentation.
  • Add images, icons, and charts to enhancevisual style and clarity.
  • Save, export, and share your presentation as PDF or PNG files, or use Venngage’s Presentation Mode for online showcasing.

In the realm of presentations, understanding the different types of presentation formats is like having a versatile set of tools that empower you to craft compelling narratives for every occasion.

Remember, the key to a successful presentation lies not only in the content you deliver but also in the way you connect with your audience. Whether you’re informing, persuading or entertaining, tailoring your approach to the specific type of presentation you’re delivering can make all the difference.

Presentations are a powerful tool, and with practice and dedication (and a little help from Venngage), you’ll find yourself becoming a presentation pro in no time. Now, let’s get started and customize your next presentation!

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  • Presentation of Data

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Data Presenting for Clearer Reference

Imagine the statistical data without a definite presentation, will be burdensome! Data presentation is one of the important aspects of Statistics. Presenting the data helps the users to study and explain the statistics thoroughly. We are going to discuss this presentation of data and know-how information is laid down methodically. 

In this context, we are going to present the topic - Presentation of Data which is to be referred to by the students and the same is to be studied in regard to the types of presentations of data. 

Presentation of Data and Information

Statistics is all about data. Presenting data effectively and efficiently is an art. You may have uncovered many truths that are complex and need long explanations while writing. This is where the importance of the presentation of data comes in. You have to present your findings in such a way that the readers can go through them quickly and understand each and every point that you wanted to showcase. As time progressed and new and complex research started happening, people realized the importance of the presentation of data to make sense of the findings.

Define Data Presentation

Data presentation is defined as the process of using various graphical formats to visually represent the relationship between two or more data sets so that an informed decision can be made based on them.

Types of Data Presentation

Broadly speaking, there are three methods of data presentation:

Diagrammatic

Textual Ways of Presenting Data

Out of the different methods of data presentation, this is the simplest one. You just write your findings in a coherent manner and your job is done. The demerit of this method is that one has to read the whole text to get a clear picture. Yes, the introduction, summary, and conclusion can help condense the information.

Tabular Ways of Data Presentation and Analysis

To avoid the complexities involved in the textual way of data presentation, people use tables and charts to present data. In this method, data is presented in rows and columns - just like you see in a cricket match showing who made how many runs. Each row and column have an attribute (name, year, sex, age, and other things like these). It is against these attributes that data is written within a cell.

Diagrammatic Presentation: Graphical Presentation of Data in Statistics

This kind of data presentation and analysis method says a lot with dramatically short amounts of time.

Diagrammatic Presentation has been divided into further categories:

Geometric Diagram

When a Diagrammatic presentation involves shapes like a bar or circle, we call that a Geometric Diagram. Examples of Geometric Diagram

Bar Diagram

Simple Bar Diagram

Simple Bar Diagram is composed of rectangular bars. All of these bars have the same width and are placed at an equal distance from each other. The bars are placed on the X-axis. The height or length of the bars is used as the means of measurement. So, on the Y-axis, you have the measurement relevant to the data. 

Suppose, you want to present the run scored by each batsman in a game in the form of a bar chart. Mark the runs on the Y-axis - in ascending order from the bottom. So, the lowest scorer will be represented in the form of the smallest bar and the highest scorer in the form of the longest bar.

Multiple Bar Diagram

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In many states of India, electric bills have bar diagrams showing the consumption in the last 5 months. Along with these bars, they also have bars that show the consumption that happened in the same months of the previous year. This kind of Bar Diagram is called Multiple Bar Diagrams.

Component Bar Diagram

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Sometimes, a bar is divided into two or more parts. For example, if there is a Bar Diagram, the bars of which show the percentage of male voters who voted and who didn’t and the female voters who voted and who didn’t. Instead of creating separate bars for who did and who did not, you can divide one bar into who did and who did not.

A pie chart is a chart where you divide a pie (a circle) into different parts based on the data. Each of the data is first transformed into a percentage and then that percentage figure is multiplied by 3.6 degrees. The result that you get is the angular degree of that corresponding data to be drawn in the pie chart. So, for example, you get 30 degrees as the result, on the pie chart you draw that angle from the center.

Frequency Diagram

Suppose you want to present data that shows how many students have 1 to 2 pens, how many have 3 to 5 pens, how many have 6 to 10 pens (grouped frequency) you do that with the help of a Frequency Diagram. A Frequency Diagram can be of many kinds:

Where the grouped frequency of pens (from the above example) is written on the X-axis and the numbers of students are marked on the Y-axis. The data is presented in the form of bars.

Frequency Polygon

When you join the midpoints of the upper side of the rectangles in a histogram, you get a Frequency Polygon

Frequency Curve

When you draw a freehand line that passes through the points of the Frequency Polygon, you get a Frequency Curve.

Ogive 

Suppose 2 students got 0-20 marks in maths, 5 students got 20-30 marks and 4 students got 30-50 marks in Maths. So how many students got less than 50 marks? Yes, 5+2=7. And how many students got more than 20 marks? 5+4=9. This type of more than and less than data are represented in the form of the ogive. The meeting point of the less than and more than line will give you the Median.

Arithmetic Line Graph

If you want to see the trend of Corona infection vs the number of recoveries from January 2020 to December 2020, you can do that in the form of an Arithmetic Line Graph. The months should be marked on the X-axis and the number of infections and recoveries are marked on the Y-axis. You can compare if the recovery is greater than the infection and if the recovery and infection are going at the same rate or not with the help of this Diagram.

Did You Know?

Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher is known as the father of modern statistics.

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FAQs on Presentation of Data

1. What are the 4 types of Tabular Presentation?

The tabular presentation method can be further divided into 4 categories:

Qualitative

Quantitative

Qualitative classification is done when the attributes in the table are some kind of ‘quality’ or feature. Suppose you want to make a table where you would show how many batsmen made half-centuries and how many batsmen made centuries in IPL 2020. Notice that the data would have only numbers - no age, sex, height is needed. This type of tabulation is called quantitative tabulation.

If you want to make a table that would inform which year’s world cup, which team won. The classifying variable, here, is year or time. This kind of classification is called Temporal classification.

If you want to list the top 5 coldest places in the world. The classifying variable here would be a place in each case. This kind of classification is called Spatial Classification.

2. Are bar charts and histograms the Same?

No, they are not the same. With a histogram, you measure the frequency of quantitative data. With bar charts, you compare categorical data.

3. What is the definition of Data Presentation?

When research work is completed, the data gathered from it can be quite large and complex. Organizing the data in a coherent, easy-to-understand, quick to read and graphical way is called data presentation.

Presentation of Data

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Statistics deals with the collection, presentation and analysis of the data, as well as drawing meaningful conclusions from the given data. Generally, the data can be classified into two different types, namely primary data and secondary data. If the information is collected by the investigator with a definite objective in their mind, then the data obtained is called the primary data. If the information is gathered from a source, which already had the information stored, then the data obtained is called secondary data. Once the data is collected, the presentation of data plays a major role in concluding the result. Here, we will discuss how to present the data with many solved examples.

What is Meant by Presentation of Data?

As soon as the data collection is over, the investigator needs to find a way of presenting the data in a meaningful, efficient and easily understood way to identify the main features of the data at a glance using a suitable presentation method. Generally, the data in the statistics can be presented in three different forms, such as textual method, tabular method and graphical method.

Presentation of Data Examples

Now, let us discuss how to present the data in a meaningful way with the help of examples.

Consider the marks given below, which are obtained by 10 students in Mathematics:

36, 55, 73, 95, 42, 60, 78, 25, 62, 75.

Find the range for the given data.

Given Data: 36, 55, 73, 95, 42, 60, 78, 25, 62, 75.

The data given is called the raw data.

First, arrange the data in the ascending order : 25, 36, 42, 55, 60, 62, 73, 75, 78, 95.

Therefore, the lowest mark is 25 and the highest mark is 95.

We know that the range of the data is the difference between the highest and the lowest value in the dataset.

Therefore, Range = 95-25 = 70.

Note: Presentation of data in ascending or descending order can be time-consuming if we have a larger number of observations in an experiment.

Now, let us discuss how to present the data if we have a comparatively more number of observations in an experiment.

Consider the marks obtained by 30 students in Mathematics subject (out of 100 marks)

10, 20, 36, 92, 95, 40, 50, 56, 60, 70, 92, 88, 80, 70, 72, 70, 36, 40, 36, 40, 92, 40, 50, 50, 56, 60, 70, 60, 60, 88.

In this example, the number of observations is larger compared to example 1. So, the presentation of data in ascending or descending order is a bit time-consuming. Hence, we can go for the method called ungrouped frequency distribution table or simply frequency distribution table . In this method, we can arrange the data in tabular form in terms of frequency.

For example, 3 students scored 50 marks. Hence, the frequency of 50 marks is 3. Now, let us construct the frequency distribution table for the given data.

Therefore, the presentation of data is given as below:

The following example shows the presentation of data for the larger number of observations in an experiment.

Consider the marks obtained by 100 students in a Mathematics subject (out of 100 marks)

95, 67, 28, 32, 65, 65, 69, 33, 98, 96,76, 42, 32, 38, 42, 40, 40, 69, 95, 92, 75, 83, 76, 83, 85, 62, 37, 65, 63, 42, 89, 65, 73, 81, 49, 52, 64, 76, 83, 92, 93, 68, 52, 79, 81, 83, 59, 82, 75, 82, 86, 90, 44, 62, 31, 36, 38, 42, 39, 83, 87, 56, 58, 23, 35, 76, 83, 85, 30, 68, 69, 83, 86, 43, 45, 39, 83, 75, 66, 83, 92, 75, 89, 66, 91, 27, 88, 89, 93, 42, 53, 69, 90, 55, 66, 49, 52, 83, 34, 36.

Now, we have 100 observations to present the data. In this case, we have more data when compared to example 1 and example 2. So, these data can be arranged in the tabular form called the grouped frequency table. Hence, we group the given data like 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, ….,90-99 (As our data is from 23 to 98). The grouping of data is called the “class interval” or “classes”, and the size of the class is called “class-size” or “class-width”.

In this case, the class size is 10. In each class, we have a lower-class limit and an upper-class limit. For example, if the class interval is 30-39, the lower-class limit is 30, and the upper-class limit is 39. Therefore, the least number in the class interval is called the lower-class limit and the greatest limit in the class interval is called upper-class limit.

Hence, the presentation of data in the grouped frequency table is given below:

Hence, the presentation of data in this form simplifies the data and it helps to enable the observer to understand the main feature of data at a glance.

Practice Problems

  • The heights of 50 students (in cms) are given below. Present the data using the grouped frequency table by taking the class intervals as 160 -165, 165 -170, and so on.  Data: 161, 150, 154, 165, 168, 161, 154, 162, 150, 151, 162, 164, 171, 165, 158, 154, 156, 172, 160, 170, 153, 159, 161, 170, 162, 165, 166, 168, 165, 164, 154, 152, 153, 156, 158, 162, 160, 161, 173, 166, 161, 159, 162, 167, 168, 159, 158, 153, 154, 159.
  • Three coins are tossed simultaneously and each time the number of heads occurring is noted and it is given below. Present the data using the frequency distribution table. Data: 0, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, 0, 1, 3, 1, 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2, 1, 3, 0, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 2, 0.

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Home Blog Design Exploring the 12 Different Types of Slides in PowerPoint

Exploring the 12 Different Types of Slides in PowerPoint

Cover for types of slides in PowerPoint presentations

Presentations are an important communication tool in professional and academic environments. Effective slide design is not merely about aesthetics; it’s about enhancing comprehension, engagement, and retention of information. Each type of slide serves a specific purpose and requires thoughtful consideration in its creation and application. This guide explores twelve common types of slides, explaining their purposes, typical usage scenarios, essential components, and strategies for maximum effectiveness.

Table of Contents

Title Slide

Picture slide, agenda slide, introduction slide, summary slide, thank you slide, quote slide, chart & diagram slide, table slide, animation & video slide, call-to-action slide, final words.

The title slide sets the tone and context for the presentation. It’s our main opportunity to make a strong first impression and establish the speaker’s credibility regarding aesthetics and professionalism.

Title slide type of slide

As the core point in how to start a presentation , the title slide gives a clear indication of the topic, the presenter’s identity, and relevant contextual data. Let’s see which are the components of the title slide.

  • Main Title: This is the focal point of the slide. It should be concise yet descriptive enough to clearly explain the presentation’s focus. The font size should be large enough to be readable from the back of the room.
  • Subtitle: If necessary, provide additional clarification or a more detailed descriptor of the presentation’s scope.
  • Presenter’s Name and Details: Includes full name, job title, and affiliation. Positioned for easy visibility but without overshadowing the main title.
  • Date and Venue: These are important for context, especially if the presentation might be referenced later or is part of a larger conference or seminar.
  • Design Elements: The layout should reflect corporate or personal branding, using logos, specific color schemes, and fonts. It should also be clean and not cluttered, maintaining a professional appearance.

The title slide should be crafted around a concept that is valid for different types of slides: less is more. Maintain a high contrast between the text and the background, but don’t overdo it; otherwise, you will affect the readability of your slides . If you’re using a background image, ensure it does not distract the audience’s attention from your speech. Alternatively, we can add a fade-in or morph effect for the text to create neat transitions and grab the audience’s attention without being distracting.

For more information, read our tutorial on how to add title slides in PowerPoint .

We call a picture slide to those who use strong visual imagery to aid in storytelling presentations , making concepts tangible, providing an emotional impact, or those who serve to illustrate case studies .

Picture slides are mainly used to illustrate complex concepts , but they are also an element that can add dynamism to a presentation, making the overall presentation less “boring” than just sticking to data and tables. The components of picture slides are:

  • High-Quality Image: The image should dominate the slide and be directly relevant to the accompanying content. It should be sharp and have appropriate rights for use – meaning we cannot claim an image from a professional photographer as it is. Either work with royalty-free pictures or with your own images (or work your way around Midjourney to create AI-images).
  • Minimal Text: If text is necessary, it should not compete with the image. Placement should be thoughtful, ensuring that the image remains the focus. In some particular scenarios, text can be the image, as we see in portraits made out of words.
  • Caption: Optional, but can help provide context or cite the source of the image. Also, captions help people with auditory impairments to comprehend the reason why the image is being shown.

Aim to choose images that evoke the emotion you want to convey in your presentation. For an appropriate layout, you can use the rule of thirds for a balanced composition or half-and-half if you are presenting the image alongside relevant written data. Avoid oversaturated images or heavily dramatic black-and-white effects.

Picture slide ideal location for images according to the rule of thirds

We’re all used to text slides. That being said, good design practices regarding text slides don’t consider having huge walls of text with the sole excuse of “delivering information.” Layouts matter. Presenters should stick to a column layout where the information is summarized and arranged using presentation aids to break up the written format monotony and ensure audience engagement .

Text slide in the format of a project dashboard

Text slides can contain the following elements:

  • Headline: Clearly states the topic or point of the slide. It should be written in a distinctive type format than the rest of the body text.
  • Body Text: Should be organized in short, concise paragraphs. Limit the text to essential information to avoid overwhelming the audience. Take special care when selecting the font for the presentation to ensure legibility.
  • Visual References: Icons or tiny graphics can help illustrate points and break up text, enhancing readability and retention.

Always pay attention to legibility. Although bullet points can be helpful in organizing information, some viewers may find them reiterative, like everything is important—hence the reason why we shouldn’t abuse them. You can emphasize words or important phrases with bold, italics, or color changes. Ensure that the text-to-whitespace balance is accurate to prevent crowded slides.

After delivering the title slide, a good practice is to disclose the structure of the topics to be presented. This is where agenda slides are incredibly handy. They help the audience manage their expectations from the presentation and also structure the presentation’s logical flow. As a tool, they are useful in lengthy business presentations or academic presentations in which presenters review the concepts in the format of presentation handouts (or directly by checking the slide deck if it’s facilitated by the event’s organizers).

Agenda slide layout example

Agenda slides are usually built out of these components:

  • List of Topics: Clearly enumerated or bulleted, each representing a key section of the presentation. They can list or not the slide number in which they are shown.
  • Timings: Optional, but it can be helpful to indicate how long each section is expected to last.
  • Progress Indicator: Visual elements like checkmarks or arrows can show what has been covered and what remains to be done.

Using distinctive headings can keep the slide clean. If we use hyperlinks in PowerPoint for our agenda slide, we can mention them during the speech so there are no abrupt jumps between slides. 

The introduction slide is designed to provide a background or context for the topic presented, delivering the key concepts, theories, or frameworks required to understand the rest of the presentation.

Introduction slide layout

The introduction slide is placed right after the agenda slide. After the concepts of the introduction slide are delivered, a smooth transition can direct the presentation’s flow toward the core concepts of the presentation. In terms of the introduction slide’s components, we can count:

  • Key Concepts: Briefly introduce and define critical concepts or terms that will be recurrent throughout the presentation.
  • Context Setting: Provide any necessary historical, social, or academic context that frames the topic appropriately.
  • Objectives: Clearly outline what the presentation aims to achieve, helping to set the audience’s expectations about the takeaways.
  • Engaging Visuals: Relevant images, icons, or brief animations can help highlight important elements and make the slide more engaging.

In general lines, the introduction slide should have visual elements but not be overwhelming for the audience. The visuals must not distract, and we cannot use bold color combinations that take the focus away from the message. Using diagrams can also help to present key concepts effectively.

At the final stages of a presentation, we can use the summary slide to review all the key points discussed throughout the presentation. It’s typically placed before the closing remarks, “thank you” slide, or Q&A session. Summary slides help recap the information presented, making it easier to process the key takeaways.

Summary slide in a presentation

We can count these elements in a summary slide:

  • Key Points: Summarize the main points covered in a clear, easy-to-read format.
  • Visual Recap: Use simple graphics, charts, or callouts to represent significant data or conclusions visually.
  • Concluding Remark: A sentence or two that encapsulates the overarching message or conclusion of the presentation.

Use consistent styling with the earlier slides for a cohesive aesthetic. You can apply levels of hierarchy to the concepts summarized through color or size variations in text.

When preparing for how to end a presentation , the thank you slide is a formal conclusion format. It is always the last slide available in the presentation, and it offers a moment to express gratitude to the audience for their attention, time, and participation. Let’s review which elements make a successful thank you slide:

  • Thank You Note: A simple, clear expression of gratitude. It doesn’t require fancy graphics.
  • Presenter’s Contact Information: Include an email address, phone number, or social media handles for further communication.
  • Invitation for Questions: A prompt that encourages the audience to engage in discussion or ask questions about the presentation.

Thank You slide format

The transition between the thank you slide and the questions and answers session has to be smooth. Therefore, it’s vital to put an invitation to questions rather than just signaling the slide as the conclusion. A subtle background that follows the slide deck’s aesthetic is always a plus.

Quote slides integrate wisdom, authority, or inspiration from well-known or respected sources into your presentation. They can provide powerful support for your arguments or serve as a motivational element within your talk.

Quote slide example

This type of PowerPoint slide is ideal for emphasizing a point, sparking reflection, or inspiring the audience. Use them to underscore the relevance of an idea or introduce a shift in the presentation’s focus.

The components of the quote slide are:

  • The Quote: Clearly presented and attributed to the speaker or writer. The text should be legible with enough emphasis to stand out.
  • Author’s Name and Credentials: Provide context for the quote by including the author’s name and, if relevant, their credentials or why they are an authority on the topic.
  • Related Imagery or Background: An image or abstract design that complements the theme of the quote can enhance its impact.

Work with a quote PowerPoint template that effectively highlights the quote through a professional layout. For visibility, a strong contrast must be maintained between the text and the background; therefore, text boxes with backgrounds are commonly used. If using an image, select one that enhances rather than competes with the text.

Chart and diagram slides are essential for visually representing data, showing relationships, illustrating processes, and explaining complex systems. They transform numbers and abstract concepts into more digestible graphic formats that enhance audience understanding. We can choose between charts and graphs depending on the kind of data to represent, but diagrams often help to contextualize the raw data for simpler explanations.

Chart & Diagram slide layout in types of slides

Use these slides when discussing data trends, comparisons, workflow processes, or hierarchical structures. They are particularly helpful in business presentations, scientific discussions, and any scenario where visual simplification of complex data is beneficial.

The main components for any chart or diagram slide are:

  • Chart or Diagram: Select the appropriate type (e.g., bar chart , pie chart , flowchart , organizational chart ) based on the data or process you are illustrating.
  • Labels and Legends: Essential for clarity, they help the audience understand what each part of the chart or diagram represents.
  • Titles and Subtitles: They clearly indicate what the graphic explains or highlights.
  • Annotations or Callouts: Use these to emphasize key points or data within the chart or diagram.

Keep all text in graphs readable and clear. Animated effects can show a progression or illustrate relationships more dynamically. In terms of colors, use contrasting colors for data sets to aid in differentiation. 

For more information, check our collection of chart PowerPoint templates .

The other format for representing data in presentation slides is tables. Tables can structure data sets systematically and allow for the presentation of detailed data in a comparative and accessible format. For this reason, they are ideal for showing exact figures and relationships between items.

Table types of slide

These slides are especially useful in financial, research, or technical presentations where precise data needs to be compared or detailed specifications have to be presented side by side. We can identify the following elements in table slides:

  • Table: Clearly segmented into rows and columns. Headers should be distinct to guide the viewer through the data.
  • Row and Column Labels: These should describe the data they contain succinctly and clearly.
  • Highlighting: Use shading, bolding, or color-coding to emphasize important data points or trends within the table.
  • Footnotes or Source Citations: If the data comes from external sources or requires additional explanation, include this information in a discreet but readable manner.

In design terms, tables should be kept as neat as possible. All text must be legible, with sufficient spacing and an appropriate font size (no less than 11 pt). Colors can be used to differentiate between data sets, but avoid using too many colors, as they can lead to confusion. 

For more information, check our collection of PowerPoint table templates .

Sometimes, images aren’t enough. Video presentations and vector image animations are powerful tools, as they can be planned to enhance storytelling. The average duration depends on the total presentation length, but they shouldn’t take more than 30% of the total allotted time (as otherwise, the attendees are just streaming video rather than viewing a presentation). 

Animation slide in a presentation

When it comes to the components of this type of slide, we can find:

  • Embedded Video or Animation: This should be high quality (720p minimum) and directly relevant to the presented content.
  • Playback Controls: Clearly visible to allow easy control during the presentation.
  • Brief Descriptions or Introductions: Provide context or prepare the audience for what they will see.

As a presenter, your job is to ensure the video or animation is seamlessly integrated into the presentation, both technically and from a design perspective. This means testing the playback functionality multiple times prior to the presentation.

Also, check our collection of animated PowerPoint templates .

We conclude this list with a slide to persuade the audience to take specific action following the presentation. Call-to-action slides, or CTA slides, encourage the viewers to take action, such as further conversation, purchasing an item or service, or participating in a project.

Call-to-Action types of slide

It is typically placed at the end of the presentation, following the summary and thank you slide, to motivate immediate action. Its components are:

  • Clear Directive: The CTA itself should be straightforward and compelling, such as “Register Now,” “Join Us,” or “Visit Our Website.”
  • Reasons to Act: Briefly reiterate the benefits or importance of taking the action, enhancing the persuasive appeal.
  • Contact Information or Links: Provide all necessary links or contact details to make it easy for the audience to know how to act.

The CTA slide should feature a design that grabs attention. Use strong, action-oriented language and a large, readable text. 

As we’ve seen, harnessing the usage of these different types of slides helps us become better presenters, with our message being tailored to specific needs. Create your own slide decks by implementing the guidance listed in this article and customize the slides each time for a unique experience.

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