Last month I decided to challenge myself to improve the quality of an implementation report we produce 3 times a year. It includes a compilation of quantitative and qualitative data reflecting learners’ assessment of an online course. My goal was to transform this data (there was a lot!) into something that would be easier to digest for our stakeholders.
With data visualization tools we are now able to improve communication skills and transform data into something fun to read and almost immediately comprehensible: a simple color change makes correlation among elements easier to grasp; size allows an instant understanding of quantity, orientation is effective in highlighting certain trends.
There are a variety of conventional/traditional ways to visualize data such as through tables, histograms, pie charts and bar graphs. They have already been used on so many occasions and in so many documents, including my past reports, making the final message not as effective as expected. To improve my report I decided to test Easel.ly, a free online presentation tool for the easy creation of visual effects. In my experience, it’s extremely easy to use without the need to be an IT expert. After having created an account, there is no need to install extra software and it’s possible to start immediately with data presentation. Easel.ly offers both a variety of pre-set canvasses and the opportunity to create your own “from scratch” by playing around with colors, objects and text.
I really recommend this tool for those like me who don’t have much experience with graphic design, but still want to create nice presentations in a quick and easy way. If interested, you can check how my report looks now (pp. 19-40) and how it was before.