“As a data presenter, you have a sacred trust to build support for data among your audience. You must:
- Present the facts in the most straightforward, accurate way you can. This is especially true when the results aren’t favorable. Further, if your results are counter to established wisdom, simply state that this is the case.
- Present a comprehensive picture. Leaving out a key fact is the worst kind of lie.
- Provide proper context, including where the data originate and what you’ve done to ensure they are of high-quality. (If you’ve done little, you must explicitly state, “The data are of unknown quality. This could impact results.”)
- Summarize your analysis, including shortcomings and alternative explanations for the results you see.
It is fine (and often appropriate) to state your opinion, but you must clearly separate your opinion from the facts. Even the best analysis goes only so far; then intuition takes over. Make the dividing line clear.”
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