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Presentation, communication and dissemination of vital statistics

Key consideration for developing data visualisations

As a key part of communicating statistical trends and relationships, data visualisation should be integrated into the statistical production process and receive the same attention as producing the numbers and writing the text. News outlets and internet users love to see statistics brought to life; together with figures and charts, infographics or short animations are recommended to illustrate the main points visually.

Before deciding on what type of illustrations to use for data the following key consideration should be taken into account:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What type of publication/presentation is the graphic for?
    • an article in a newspaper or magazine, 
    • a professional journal, or
    • a slide-show presentation?
  • Is the focus on ‘big picture’ graphics or on key points?
  • Do not rely on colours to make the message clear as these might disappear when printed.

If in doubt whether the graphic is clear, test it out before final presentation. Do not assume that the target audience know about the data.

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