In every aspect of our lives, key factors change over time. When we visualize these trends, previously hidden patterns jump into view. Those who take the time to remember the past in this way are better able to shape their future destiny.
1. Context Comes First. Ask all the subject matter experts: What are the most important factors? What's missing? What other factors must you include?
2.Create a History. Measure, record and archive a trend history of every important factor. For best results, measure at a relatively high frequency.
3. Look at ALL the Data. Once you have a history of the most important factors, you'll find charts with but a single variable will tell a powerful story all by themselves. Avoid beginning with the most complicated, most cluttered charts before you have established a good context by actually looking at each important factor on its own.
4. Share ALL Your Data. When you publish a chart, share the readily reusable data with the chart. Include the entire time range of the data you analyzed even if the charts you presented use a shorter interval.
5. Explain Your Calculations whenever you recombine or normalize your data; document your sources.
6. Show Your Thinking. Place explanatory text for your findings in close physical proximity to the your published trend charts. Data + Charts + Text creates a full package that encourages further conversation.
7. Insure Readability. Make sure the axes and titles and other text graphics are easily readable.
What principles do you see as contributing most to improved understanding and enhanced collaboration?
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