So, you happen to get into the second or third stage of the interview and now you need to present your dashboard. This may be your first presentation or this may not be. However, ask yourself this, is this the first dashboard you are presenting? If so, have you thought about how you are going to present this dashboard? Not a clue? Great! You’ve come to the right place! Now, I may not be the best at presentation however I can still provide you some tips and insight on how not to make the rookie mistakes that I once did.


Know your data

It is really important that you know your data inside and out. I can guarantee you, the coaches will ask you a lot of question. By knowing your data, you will be better prepared for the questions they ask you. They won’t ask you (or they haven’t for mine) trick questions to psyche you out. They genuinely want to know if you spent the effort to understand your data and how much time you’ve spent working on your data.


Create a story

Story telling is definitely the hardest part as there is no set questions or criteria to aim for. What you need to do is create a story or question on how you are going to present the data. DSAU8 had a dataset on the Olympics and the story I created was ‘The changes in Olympic since 1896‘. It was by no means a great viz as I struggled for a few days trying to create a story. But by having a story, you can improve upon your visualisation by focusing only on the data that are relevant to your story. Otherwise, you will be cramming in multiple charts into your visualisation making it hard to understand.


Structure your presentation

This is the structure I learnt from PK and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense:

  1. Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  2. Tell them.
  3. Tell them what you’ve told them. 

Sounds familiar? Remember the good old school days writing essays? It’s basically the same thing, Introduction, body of context and conclusion.

So, first start by telling the audience on what your dashboard is about. This is very important especially if you are on the second stage of the interview. You need to give your dashboard and story, ‘context’. You may know your data inside and out at this stage but your audience might not. This may even be the first time they’ve seen this dataset or dashboard you’ve build. Now that we’ve established the context, inform them on what you’ve explored or the insights you’ve found in the dataset. Don’t be like, ‘oh the numbers in this dataset shows that this supermarket had a massive increase in revenue in March 2020’. Instead you should be asking with ‘why’s’, ‘why did supermarkets have such a massive jump in revenue around March 2020?’. “Well, through exploring the dataset, I can see that the sales of Tissue Paper has sky rocketed compared to the previous months sales. It has increased by 500% and through checking the news, it makes sense as this is when Covid-19 hit”. See what I did there? I create a story on why did supermarkets revenue increase around March 2020. I then backed it up using the dataset which will be shown on the dashboard. Then I did further research outside of the dataset either by checking the news or other sources to understand what caused it to happen. Lastly, summarise what you’ve told the audience to end off the presentation.


Practice your presentation

Spend your time practicing your presentation, either in front of a mirror, a friend, a family member or even a pet. By practicing your presentation, it helps eliminates a lot of the nervousness and stuttering you may normally have. It also helps avoid going on a tangent if you are someone that likes to go around in circles with explanations. By the way, the coaches can tell if you’ve practiced your presentation or not. It shows in the body language when you are presenting.

Hopefully you were able to learn a thing or two from this blog to help with your presentations. Good luck!

Eric Loi
Author: Eric Loi