January 15 - 

This series of tips are related to Data and Numbers.  Last week, we talked about the Opportunity to present Data and Numbers.  This week, we will discuss Creation.

The Creation of a report or presentation sharing data and numbers requires that you reflect about what you are going to share, where the attention of result should be, and understand what will be done once the reviewers see the presented information.

When faced with creating your presentation, I would share that there are three considerations:

  1. Your presentation is like a clean sheet of paper and you get to create the design. This is great if you are a creative person and love the ability to control the message.


  1. Create a focal point versus getting lost in a detailed spreadsheet. Instead of having a crazy detailed Excel spreadsheet (that has so much data – but no one can read it because the font is too small), consider instead key tables that provide you the ability to tell the data story.  Take the time to identify what information is critical to share and create a picture/image that you can speak to.
  • Pie Chart: great for comparing parts to a whole (not good for demonstrating changes over a set period of time)
  • Line Graph: tracking of changes over short/long periods of time and/or comparing changes over a set period for multiple groups (small changes work best)
  • Bar Graph: comparison between groups or tracking changes (best if changes are large)
  • X-Y Plot: demonstrates relationships between two different things


  1. If you are not sure exactly sure what is needed, ask the person asking for the results. Make sure you understand what it is they want to see versus assuming you know what they want to see.  Large is the risk if you go on your own path of presentation to find out you were on the wrong trail.


A presentation path should identify:

  • What you are talking about and why it is important
  • How you got to this position
  • What you are suggesting/offering
  • Why this is the best approach
  • How Risk is addressed
  • Acceptance and approval to proceed

Create your presentation and check back next week for the final tip on Sharing your Data and Numbers.

 Note:  This tip is provided by QATC Board Member Barb Bleiler of WPS Health Insurance.  She may be reached at barb.bleiler@wpsic.com.