Data Presentation

I do a lot of data-intensive document production. It’s in the nature of my job that I have to look at a lot crash records and then boil it down into something that is useful. For example:

A table showing types of crashes. Redacted as this is an in-progress project.

This table represents types of crashes along a roadway. It’s useful, but not as useful as this:

A Pie Chart illustrating crash types and the percentages involved.

I’m always looking for good ways to incorporate data visualization into my documents. Unfortunately, I’m not a designer, so I tend to find something awesome (like this pie chart layout for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition RSA of Ponce DeLeon) and steal it. All of the represented chart here is done in MS Excel and it looks pretty good and does what it’s supposed to do: represent your message at a glance.

Instead of having to mentally figure the balance of crash types as you would in the table, you can just see it.

I believe I will be spending a bit of time setting up a default spreadsheet to build this data chart. Thanks to whomever did this work at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. that I will now blissfully copy for the improvement of my own documents.

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