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SP0091 Data visualisation: tables and graphs for publication and presentation
  1. M Boers
  1. Epidemiology & Biostatistics; Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands


This workshop (held both on Thursday and on Friday) is an introduction to the principles of good graph and table design as pioneered by Cleveland1 and Tufte2 and updated by Few3 so that the participant can better answer the following questions:

Which of the messages in my research results requires a graph or table? Recognizing how graphs improve on simple statistics and convey much more information. Knowing when a table is better, or keeping the data in the body text.

How can I best convey the message? Striving for clear vision by choice of graph, scaling, discrimination of data series, minimizing non-data ink, avoiding chart junk. Striving for clear understanding through a balance between data and explanation. Using order, subheadings, formatting and rules to guide your reader through your table data.

Is my graph/table truthful? Creating a direct proportion between graph and data quantities, avoiding forms prone to misinterpretation, labels to prevent ambiguity; keeping data in context, avoiding more dimensions in the graph than in the data.

This year's course will extend introductory material available via YouTube clips on the ARD website (!

Direct link:

Note that you can also sign up for a special lecture followed by a poster tour after the session, devoted to poster design!


  1. Cleveland WS. The elements of graphing data: Hobart Press, Summit, NJ, USA; 1994.

  2. Tufte E. The visual display of quantitative information. 2nd ed: Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT, USA; 2001.

  3. Few S. Show me the numbers. Designing tables and graphs to enlighten. 2nd ed: Analytics Press, Oakland, CA, USA; 2012.


Disclosure of Interest M. Boers Consultant for: Director of Epiconsult BV that offers training in data visualization

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