Judy Lenhart, PhD
Sr. Director, Global Scientific Communications

Sarah Funderburk, PhD, CMPP
Scientific Division Lead


According to a 2015 study by Microsoft, the average attention span of an adult is approximately 8 seconds. For reference, the attention span of a goldfish is thought to be roughly 9 seconds. In our current digital age, communications need to be concise, clear and engaging; this includes messaging in visual formats. For many datasets and communication channels, that same old bar graph or table might not be the best way forward. The role that visual perception plays in reading and interpreting information differs significantly based on the representation selected, and different channels might require different visual formats for the greatest impact.

This workshop will challenge attendees to strategically consider the desired impact of a message and how that should affect the visual format. Attendees will review exemplary case studies of data visualization, and then break out into small groups for exercises on visualizing messages and visual representation for different audiences and channels.


Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Think critically about the impact of the message they are trying to convey when preparing data into a visual format
  • Determine which scientific messages are best represented by a table and which are best represented by a graph
  • Critique when and why to use one type of graph rather than another to achieve a perceptual ‘take home message’
  • Evaluate how different delivery channels can affect the impact of data visualization


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Data Visualization and Multichannel Delivery—Let the Numbers Speak for Themselves


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