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Many a times an audience is faced with a challenge of interpreting that has been presented to it. Given the short span of time and the vast empirical statistics that have mentioned in a presentation, the palatability of such contents becomes a nightmare to many. This therefore calls for prior considerations as a prerequisite in deciding the mode of presenting such ideas for the best interest of the receiver. This paper endeavors to lay some guidelines on how to make information be of greatest utility and effective. This will be enhanced by examining four sets of data destined to different audiences and the mode of presenting the data that will be most effective, considering the dynamics of the receiver as well as the purpose of the data.
The first set of information from the US Department of energy consists of the different types of fuels and percentages consumed by Americans in the last three decades. The targeted audience in this case is general readers. Since this set of data is not meant for any calculation by any interested party, it does not call for a sophisticated visual. In fact, a table showing the decade and the type of fuel consumed by percentage will be enough to pass the message. Despite its linearity, the table should carry a caption to indicate the same. The reason for this simplicity is that there different types of readers destined for this message - some who are not used to visuals as well as others who are comfortable with complicated enhancements. This calls for a middle ground to avoid favoring any group.
The second set of information appears simple but the destined audience is not that simple. It is designated for experienced investors in rental properties. This means that the type of visual chosen should reflect the ‘nobility’ of the purpose. The visual used helps to estimate annual heating and costs for five cites in the US. Since money, being such a touchy issue, is involved, there is need for a comprehensive comparative visual aid to help compare the minimums and maximums of the temperatures in the cities to help making shrewd business decisions. In this case, a more business friendly and technologically advanced visual will do. PowerPoint presentations of the data in a comparative bar graph would be appropriate. It should also be accompanied by brief explanations on unusual reasons behind the trends like natural calamities such as tornadoes to avoid shying off unnecessarily potential investors.
The third group of data is meant for the student senate. It examines the trends in the number of students by percentages of the number of students who graduated, with drew or are still enrolled in the university. There are four faculties involved. These are the faculty of business, nursing, engineering and that of arts and social sciences. Apparently, this set of data is mean to compare between the four faculties and identify which of them has had a high number of students completing their courses in the ideal time and the one that has had high dropouts to respond appropriately. Given the comparative nature of the data, this calls for a comparative visual to bring out this effect. With such an audience a purpose, the visual best suited for this case would be a comparative line graph, which can be handed out to each member of the senate for easier reference during the discussion and the fact-finding process.
The last set of data is, like the previous one, destined to the student senate. This time round, the set consists of student enrollment in two faculties, engineering and business, since 1999 to the present. The data is relatively voluminous. Much as it is meant to depict an increment in enrollment in each subsequent year in the respective faculties, the data also reveals a very ridiculous trend in the case of the business side. At one point, the enrollment in engineering was half that of business but as years flew by, the former caught up with the latter and are currently registering almost similar figures. This type of data will therefore call for a visual that will create interest with the senate as to why one faculty is expanding so rapidly while its counterpart is relatively stagnant. There is no doubt a line graph with different colors for the two faculties will do. This will bring out the much-needed interest in the trends in the business case given the conspicuous distinction hence catalyzing a reaction from the relevant authorities.
The above case studies point out how crucial it is to encode information in the best possible way to achieve maximum utility from it. This phenomenon should even be applied in our day-to-day lives communication as this would lower cases of misunderstandings in the society. This is achieved when the sender lowers themselves to the level of the receivers and they share a common field of experience to attain a shared meaning. Only then will communication be effective.