Relevance: Making Data Meaningful to Others

Frequently, the relationship of the data to others is not at all clear. In those cases, rather than letting people struggle with the relevance, you can tell them directly what it means.

At my younger son’s university graduation, the chancellor took his obligatory turn at the microphone and used ten minutes to encourage our financial support of higher education. He used data to substantiate the excellence of the school, naming the number of Nobel laureates on the faculty and the amount of research money they were able to attract. He used statistics, comparing the amount of research money procured by the university to like numbers from other top universities in the United States.

It was interesting, ...

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