eStudy 090: Visual Thinking + Visual Making = The formula for doing Data Visualization
eStudy 090: Visual Thinking + Visual Making = The formula for doing Data Visualization


Sara Vaca, Independent evaluator.


This workshop aims to awake (or strengthen) our visual thinking dimension, and to help you translate your visual ideas into reality with Microsoft Office programs.  By discovering (or remembering) the basic foundations of Data Visualization and seeing actual manners of communicating M&E concepts with visuals, we will open our mind and imagination to allow the visual dimension enter some parts of your daily work and your way of thinking and analyzing, and we will set the basis for creating effective visuals.

The workshop will have a hand-on approach (sketching in paper & working on MS Excel and MS Powerpoint), where we will create (or re-do if you have material you wish to improve) effective visuals, learning some simple, yet very useful tips in Excel and Powerpoint that will allow you to create more sophisticated dataviz. By seeing and analyzing other people's work the facilitator will help you learn (or reinforce) your criteria for judging the relationship between the forms and the content, so you can iterate and improve your visuals, and so you can judge visuals you see.

Finally, some tips and tools will be shared to make an easy transition to apply this new, creative approach to some parts of your reports and work.

Learning Outcomes:

Comprehension of the foundations of Data Visualization
Ability to identify areas that could be communicated in a visual way in day-to-day reports
Ideas-resources for using Visual Thinking to iterate with ideas to represent those ideas visually
Refresh ideas to represent quantitative data
Awaken the visual thinking to represent qualitative information
Familiarity on how to use Excel and PowerPoint to translate your ideas
Criteria to judge yours and others’ visualizations
Tips for incorporating more visual communication in your daily work.

Dates and Sessions:

June 26 12:00-1:30pm (EST) Day1:

  • Introduction to Data Visualization
  • Visual Thinking
  • Exercising Visual Thinking
  • Visual Making (Excel)
  • Criteria for discerning effective and non-effective visuals
  • Facilitator's creative process

June 28 12:00-1:30pm (EST) Day 2:

  • Refreshing basic concepts about Data Visualization
  • Visual Thinking- Analysis, challenging information communication and examples
  • Visual Making (PowerPoint)
  • Recap
  • Tips and Tools


Reflection on parts of your work/reports that could be 'more' visual. Share material that we could use for exercises in the workshop.


Sara is an independent consultant working as an evaluator (M.A. in Evaluation) with an initial background in the private sector (in Quality management) and later in the non-profit sector working as program manager. She has extensive experience with the Red Cross Movement and with UN Agencies (UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA). Though her main focus is Evaluation, she discovered Data Visualization in twitter in 2011 and ever since she has been learning on her own and experimenting with synergies with M&E, with the objective of making Evaluation more transparent and more accessible to others. She periodically publishes visual in her blog She is Spanish from Madrid but she is based in Southern France.

Facilitation Experience:

Sara has been an online professor in M&E subjects for 7 years and has conducted numerous workshops for sharing her expertise in Data Visualization. She is an active speaker in Evaluation conferences and has conducted an AEA coffee break. This is the first time though that she teaches Data Visualization online.


Student Member Price- $40
Member Price- $75
Student Non-Member Price- $55
Non-Member Price- $100