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Final Thoughts

The entire point of graphs is to communicate numerical data more intuitively. When you create graphs you are tasked with communicating effectively and clearly. A little bit of creativity goes a long way with graphs, and a little more creativity easily crosses into the realm of too much, defeating the function of graphically representing data. Don't get carried away.

Although your graph may be used in a presentation wherein the presenter will discuss the data and have the opportunity to clarify audience questions, it will also likely wind up in a printed report the audience will take away from the meeting. If they step out (physically or mentally) during the presentation, they need to be able to understand this graph on its own, with no one around to explain it. Look for areas and elements that don't instantly make sense, and fix them. As you can see in Figure 12.32, I added a title and several other finishing touches to help make the graph clearer.


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