Strategies to Organize & Present Economic Information

Instructor: Brianna Whiting
Collecting, organizing, and presenting data can be a big job, but can be manageable when the right tools are used. In this lesson we will learn about strategies to organize and present information, particularly economic information.

Organization and Presentation

Have you ever had to do a school presentation? Maybe that project required you to collect data and organize it so that the rest of your class could understand it. While your teacher may have given you guidelines on how to proceed and which information should be included, it may be up to you to make the choices on presentation and organization. To learn more about this we will follow Cari, who works for a company that tracks economic information about the community in which she lives. Her job is to take the data, organize it, and present it to the city council so that they can make decisions that will help improve the community.

Foundation Definition

Economic information is information that pertains to goods and services that are made, purchased, and distributed. It helps explain how money is spent in a community and how resources are allocated. For Cari, her job is to gather data on how many stores offer fruits and vegetables, and who is buying them. Fruits and vegetables are goods that the community offers, and understanding who purchases them helps explain how the community uses a portion of their money.

Organization

Once Cari gathers the data, her next step is to organize it. She has data on the stores and the consumers, but what is the best way to organize this economic information? Cari remembers a course she took in college that explained how to use charts and tables to organize data. Immediately she feels that might be a great idea for her current project as the vast majority of her data contains numbers. Using programs like Microsoft Excel, Cari can create neat tables that contain headings and columns so that she knows exactly where to find each piece of data.

While tables are perfect for her project, Cari realizes that is not the only option. She could also use flow charts that show the flow of money in the community. For instance, money comes from the consumer and goes into the local businesses so that they can purchase fruits and vegetables.

Diagrams are another visual aid that shows how one thing is related to another. For her project, Cari could have created a diagram that shows how consumer money is related to the purchase of fruits and vegetables. Other options she could have chosen include separating data into categories, thematic maps, timelines, and cause and effect.

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