Cheryl Phillips of The Seattle Times and Anthony DeBarros of Gannett Digital presented on how to fit your data to the appropriate presentation style. Just like when you’re shopping for clothes, you should ask a lot of questions before you buy (or in this case, before you spend resources designing anything).

What is the story in the data? What kind of data is it? Aggregated or individual records, for example. How much data do you have?  How much time do you have? Resources? How granular do you want to get? Is there a geographic component?

Don’t stress over an interactive graphic when a simple bar or pie chart would suffice. Depending on the scale of your data, time and resources you might want a dynamic map, but sometimes a static map will get your point across just as well.