Communicating Data to the Public

Red, Yellow, Green… Save It For The Christmas Tree

Listen up folks… it is time for a red, yellow, green color intervention of the most serious kind. The use of red, yellow, green to indicate performance on your reports and dashboards has reached a crisis level and can no … Continue reading

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Twitter Me This

Time for a confession: I’ve been a Twitter skeptic from day one. Even though I understand how it works (140-character electronic updates – “Tweets” – that people post for their followers – friends, family, political junkies – and that fill … Continue reading

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The Hammock Chronicles (2016 Edition)

Long-time subscribers to this newsletter know that every August, my family and I retreat to Bustins Island in Casco Bay, Maine, where I commandeer the hammock and contemplate life (along with the inside of my eyelids). (Check out previous posts … Continue reading

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Raising the Bar on Stacked Bar Charts

Unfortunately, and more often than is good for my mental health, I encounter data being ineffectively displayed in stacked bar charts. Which phenomenon leads to my “Question of the Day”: When should we present our healthcare data in a stacked … Continue reading

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My Secret Tip for Testing Data Visualizations

This past Sunday my husband, Bret, our pup, Juno, and I headed out to Deer Island in Massachusetts Bay. We love this walk because of the fantastic views it affords of the Bay and of Boston, and because the island’s … Continue reading

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The 2015 Hammock Chronicles

Greetings from Bustins Island, Maine — where accomplishing as little as humanly possible is the only measure of a successful day. To that end, I am a total overachiever at underachieving, and damn proud of it. So far this week, … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Graphs, Newsletters | 2 Comments

Is That a Zero In Your Data (or are you just glad to see me)?

I am highly suspicious of line graphs displaying the number zero (0). I am in fact so suspicious of them that when I see one, I hear myself inquiring (in a most dubious tone of voice), “Is the value shown … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

Overindulgence & Excess Days

I have a free app called LoseIt on my phone; it helps me keep track of the number of calories I eat and the number I burn every day. I enter my desired weight, and LoseIt calculates the total number … Continue reading

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Use It Or Lose It!

Have you ever packed and moved from one place to another? If so, you know the cold, hard truth: The textbooks and notes from freshman English are no longer of use to anyone. The spare parts to your long-abandoned childhood … Continue reading

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Conveying Disease-Spread to “Word-Proof Ears”

My daughter, Annie, was a “camp kid”– she LOVED summer camp. We even had a happy song and dance that we all did as summer approached: “Camp, camp, camp, camp, camp, camp, camp…” (Use your imagination here, folks.) She always … Continue reading

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