Susan Kistler on Data Visualization Part II

My name is Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director, and I contribute each Saturday’s post to aea365. One hot topic for me this year is data visualization – representing data in ways that are accurate, accessible, and appealing. My very first aea365 post identified resources for those with interests in data visualization – including the classic Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Today, I want to provide an update.

Hot Tip: Stephanie Evergreen (who gave Great Tips for Graphic Design on July 16) is working to bring together evaluators, and those working in related disciplines, who have an interest in data visualization and reporting in hopes of forming an AEA Topical Interest Group. The group would strive to build capacity and expand the knowledge base in the evaluation field in order to expand stakeholder understanding, improve interpretation, and increase use of evaluation results. As a starting point, Stephanie is building an emailing list of interested individuals and if you would like to be on the list, add a comment to this post (click through back to the website if you received this via email). She’ll also be hosting an informal meeting at Evaluation 2010!

Rad Resources: I attended a presentation in Boston given by the wonderful team at juice analytics as part of their Viva Visualization tour. The presentation was free, definitely worth the 90-minutes of my time, and gave me great ideas for improving my own reports. They’ll be coming to Washington on September 16 if you are in the area. If you aren’t in the DC area, and even if you are, you can learn from their blog – some of the best content can be found on their visitor’s guide and you can subscribe from that page as well. A couple of my favorites? Check out the post on Lightweight data exploration in Excel (under Excel Tricks) to make super-easy inline bars and  Stimulus Bill Explorer (under demos) to see an interactive tree map in action.

Rad Resource: The vizthink group on LinkedIn (you’ll need to join LinkedIn if you aren’t a member but it is free) is a great place to learn from others, post questions, and gather feedback and suggestions.

Hot Tip: Nancy Duarte, author of slide:ology, a book recommended by John Nash in his April 9 aea365 post on Creating Outstanding Presentation Slides. Nancy has a new book coming out – resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences due on September 28. She has also created a series of short new videos on creating outstanding presentations, some of which may be found individually on Amazon, but as a set they were uploaded just this week to Vimeo for free viewing.

The above represents my own opinions and not necessarily those of AEA. This contribution is from the aea365 Tip-a-Day Alerts, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to

12 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on Data Visualization Part II”

  1. Great idea! I’d love to hear more about a visualization TIG. Please include me on the email list.
    Best, Rhonda

  2. Yes, please include me on the email list for the idea for a TIG and I would like to get together with folks at the Conference in November. Thanks!!

  3. I’m very excited at the prospect of a new TIG focused on data visualization. I’d be eager to help out. A TIG like that could have impact across all of AEA’s constituents.

  4. Colleagues, if you received this post via email and had any challenges with the internal links in – these will take you directly to the three articles referenced:

    My first aea365 post on Data Visualization:

    Stephanie Evergreen on Graphic Design:

    John Nash on Creating Outstanding Slides:

    I have updated the links within the post itself. Thanks to one and all!

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