025: Stephanie Evergreen - On Making Data Meaningful
Stephanie Evergreen is a speaker and expert on data visualization - and how to present that data effectively.
In this episode of This Moved Me, after having to reschedule due to technical difficulties caused by children (ahem, mine), Stephanie and I talk about how the way we present the information that fuels our research and work can help illuminate the ideas in essential ways. Without the right kind of platform for our data, it gets easily lost - and many, many people are hungry to figure out how to persuade people with their data. But there's an art to it!
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In this episode we discuss:
- How Stephanie shifted from a career in evaluation into presenting that evaluation.
- The importance of the marriage between data and research people - and design and presentation people. We will keep being frustrated that nobody 'gets' our work if we don't bring these ideas together.
- The tendency to over-graph when we're short on time ("over-data'd!"). We end up not knowing what the real findings are. What's important here?
- How showing all your findings can be a coat of armor. It's ok to show a few things - and leave the rest for your back pocket.
- The value of editing, and bringing in some outside eyes to help us "see" what can go.
- The latest trends in data viz
- Stephanie's favorite keynote - John Gargoni- talking to the very audience he was challenging.
[Tweet "Presenting data better is really about changing conversations. -@evergreendata on @thismovedme"]
This Moved Me Moments:
A moment with her co-host, when he helped her illuminate the value of data viz. He said -
What's really happening when we help teach people how to present data better - it's really about changing conversations. Making better, clearer, faster decisions - so that they can do what they need to do faster.
And that conversation pulled Stephanie back out of the excel sheet back out into what really matters - which is about changing culture, and changing conversations.
When I knew that we were going to talk, I was reminded of a favorite TED Talk, that brought data alive to me for the first time. Hans Rosling's TED Talk - an amazing look at how the data comes alive and the meaning that he draws from it. And his delivery is worth watching! He turns data into a play-by-play sporting event. Check it out:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w] *****
I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode!
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Let's keep this conversation going:
Stephanie and I had a hard time coming up with powerful presentations that use data well and effectively. What's your favorite talk that makes data meaningful? We'd love to know in the comments, or let us know on Twitter.
Stephanie Evergreen’s research-based approach to evaluation and design make her a sought-after speaker and consultant for organizations ranging from small nonprofits, community foundations and university departments to those national and international in scope like Verizon, United Nations, and Head Start. She is the co-host of Rad Presenters Podcast, and regularly blogs on data presentation. She is a guest blogger for the likes of Presentation Magazine, Beth Kanter, NTEN and aea365.
Her book, Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact, was published by Sage in Fall 2013. She is co-editor and co-author of two issues of New Directions for Evaluation on data visualization, Part 1 and Part 2.
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