Chapter 10 Communication

Communication is fundamental to good data analysis. What we aim to address in this chapter is the role of routine communication in the process of doing your data analysis and in disseminating your final results in a more formal setting, often to an external, larger audience. There are lots of good books that address the “how-to” of giving formal presentations, either in the form of a talk or a written piece, such as a white paper or scientific paper. In this chapter, though, we will focus on:

  1. How to use routine communication as one of the tools needed to perform a good data analysis; and

  2. How to convey the key points of your data analysis when communicating informally and formally.

Communication is both one of the tools of data analysis, and also the final product of data analysis: there is no point in doing a data analysis if you’re not going to communicate your process and results to an audience. A good data analyst communicates informally multiple times during the data analysis process and also gives careful thought to communicating the final results so that the analysis is as useful and informative as possible to the wider audience it was intended for.