Visualizing Data

How can an organization be data rich, yet information poor? One very likely culprit: maintaining data in its original, difficult-to-interpret form. This course explores the benefits of using simple graphs to describe and attach meaning to data. Data visualization enables the clear and efficient communication of information, serving as an instrument for reasoning, discussion, and decision making at all levels of an organization. It includes a hands-on activity of manually building graphs from raw data with pencil and paper alone, teaching participants that graphs do not have to be computer generated. Studies show plotting points by hand creates more ownership and accountability of results, compared with entering them into a computer.

Hours: 8

Learning Outcomes

  • Determine what data is appropriate and collect it
  • Interpret graphs
  • Evaluate which graph type is appropriate for different data
  • Create a graph given a data set
  • Identify unusual graph points or trends for further analysis

Intended Audience

Employees from any level of an organization and any industry who desire to use visual data to improve their business effectiveness


None (mathematical expertise is not essential)