Visualisation and Presentation of Data (SBI221)

10 credits

Aim of this module

The clear and accurate presentation of the results of analysis is an essential part of the epidemiologist and data scientist skill set. The aim of this module is to provide trainees with the knowledge and skills to create appropriate and actionable visualisations from a wide range of data and the results of their analysis. The aim of this module is to enable the trainee to apply their knowledge as they develop skills to clearly and accurately present the results of epidemiological analysis, for example an outbreak investigation, a risk factor analysis, or an analysis of health service use. The audience will vary according to the analysis but could be an outbreak control team, a local authority public health team, or a planning and commissioning organisation.

  1. Select and create appropriate charts or plots for at least two different audiences using a defined data set.
  2. Create clear and accurate charts in a range of software.
  3. Create a simple infographic.
  4. Create a simple interactive data product using public health data.
  5. Use graphing tools (e.g. ggplot2 used in R), visual exploratory data analysis tools (e.g. Tableau) and interactive tools (e.g. Tableau Public, Plot.ly and RShiny).
  6. Present health data using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and assess how the findings might be used to inform local or national public health action.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Identify a public health topic that could be informed by data visualisation.

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2 1

Identify the appropriate data set.

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3 1

Define the target audience and select a suitable type of visualisation to communicate the important messages in the data to the audience.

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4 1

Create the visualisations and gain feedback from the intended audience.

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5 2

Identify available software packages and practise creating charts.

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6 2

Gain feedback on each chart, identifying areas for improvement.

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7 3

Identify a suitable software tool for producing an infographic.

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8 3

Identify a suitable data set and define a target audience.

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9 3

Create an infographic and gain feedback, identifying areas for improvement.

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10 4

Choose an interactive tool to create an interactive product from public health data.

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11 4

Identify suitable data sets and define an appropriate audience.

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12 4

Create an interactive data product using the chosen tool and gain feedback, identifying areas for improvement.

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13 5

Choose at least one graphing tool and at least one interactive tool.

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14 5

Identify suitable data sets and define an appropriate audience.

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15 5

Create a visualisation using each of the chosen tools and gain feedback, identifying areas for improvement.

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16 6

Identify a health data set that has suitable geographical data.

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17 6

Decide which geographical level(s) is/are appropriate for the analysis.

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18 6

Undertake and interpret the analysis.

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19 6

Present the findings and defend the interpretation in a peer setting.

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This module has no work-based assessments.

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the impact of visual perception on the construction of data presentations for different audiences, e.g. the public, patients and decision makers.
  2. Describe the range of data presentations available, e.g. tables, graphs, maps and infographics.
  3. Describe the principles and uses of interactive data products.
  4. Select the most appropriate presentation modality for different data types and audiences.
  5. Describe the range of data presentation software available.
  6. Evaluate and select the most appropriate software tool for producing presentations.
  7. Explain the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the application of GIS to public health.
  8. Identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of GIS and steps to be taken to quality assure the use of GIS in epidemiology.

Indicative Content

  • Discuss the impact of visual perception on the construction of data presentations for different audiences, e.g. the public, patients and decision makers
    • Position along a common scale
    • Position along identical non-aligned scales
    • Factors such as length, angle, slope, area, volume, colour hue, colour saturation and density
    • Aspect ratios
  • Describe the range of data presentations available, e.g. tables, graphs, maps and infographics
    • Frequency and probability distributions (e.g. tables, histograms, density plots, box plots)
    • Awareness of the range of other frequency plots (e.g. violin plots, bean plots and bee swarm plots)
    • Plotting categorical variables (e.g. bar and column charts, part-to-whole charts, mosaic plots, radial plots)
    • Awareness of the range of other plots for categorical variables (e.g. coxcomb charts, heatmaps, treemaps, dendrograms)
    • Charts for making comparisons (e.g. scatter plots, matrix scatter plots, line charts, linear regression)
    • Public health charts (e.g. population pyramids, funnel plots, spine charts and caterpillar plots)
  • Describe the principles and uses of interactive data products
    • Analysis
    • Design
    • Prototyping
    • Evaluation
  • Select the most appropriate presentation modality for different data types and audiences
    • Understanding audience need, including accessibility requirements
    • Relating chart type to data type
    • Risk and mitigation of accidental disclosure of personal data
    • Appropriate referencing and attribution of content and output, e.g. copyright
  • Describe the range of data presentation software available
    • Graphical functions within standard software (e.g. Excel)
    • Graphical functions with statistical packages (e.g. R)
    • Specialist graphical software (e.g. Tableau, Plot.ly and RShiny)
  • Evaluate and select the most appropriate software tool for producing data presentations
    • Strengths and weaknesses of relevant tools (e.g. Tableau, ly and RShiny)
  • Explain the concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the application of GIS to public health
    • The importance of location to public health
    • Spatial data and spatial databases
    • Data models and structures
    • Software (e.g. ArcGIS Desktop)
    • Making your data spatial
    • Geocoding
    • Mapping coordinate data
    • Joining non-spatial data to geographic boundaries
  • Identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of GIS and steps to be taken to quality assure the use of GIS in epidemiology
    • Spatial analytical methods for public health
    • Cartography and visualisation for public health data