BMI 5/625, Spring 2023

Format for a Visualization Brief

Goal: To systematically analyze and describe (or plan) a data visualization in a consistent manner.

Tools: After the first week, the document should be constructed using R Markdown, and Knitted into either an html or PDF. This first week students may use a regular word processing software program.

Data Visualization Report Format

  1. Description of the DATA you used (either given to you or where you found it, what unique characteristics of the data, what quantitative and qualitative information is in the data set, etc.)
  2. Description of the AUDIENCE you are aiming for (including more detail than simply saying “a biochemist”).
  3. Description of the TYPE of graph (e.g. Bar chart, Sankey, etc).
  4. Representation Description: WHAT are you trying to show? Comparison? Part to whole? Trends? Etc.?
  5. HOW to read it & WHAT to look for: How should a newbie to this graph approach interpreting it? What are the major highlights of the graph type?
  6. Presentation: address how you are using annotation, color, and general composition (e.g. how are things arranged, scale, etc.)
  7. How I made it: Methods section - include all relevant code all relevant R code to make the graph fully reproducible and the process in which you wrangled the data and plotted it fully comprehensible. This does not have to in one “chunk” but can be woven into your brief where it helps the reader trace what you did and why you did it.