As evaluators, we need to consider ways in which we can best answer our clients’ research questions. It’s important for our clients to be able to easily understand and quickly digest quantitative and qualitative data. Forcing them to pour over pages and pages of tables and percentages is not the best way to deliver results.
Enter data visualization.
Let’s face it, pie charts have a terrible reputation. They have been around for forever and they are considered beyond ancient. Yet they endure. Every year at every conference they are shamelessly being used. Pie charts aren’t so terrible as long as they are used correctly, however. In fact, donut charts serve as a modern take on the traditional pie chart and make them super effective in communicating information. The secret is to focus on one data point that is considered important.
The same can be said about qualitative data: pouring over comments and even themes can be daunting. Visual aids can help to form a longer lasting memory of the theme by associating an image with an idea. Presenting simple icons instead of full on pictures is key as it allows the viewer to quickly infer what the image is meant to represent. These icons can be created from scratch or by browsing websites like Flaticon for images that have a Creative Commons license.