Data Visualization for the Quality Professional

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 @ 6:00 PM

Michael Scofield, Asst. Professor in Health Informatics at Loma Linda University will speak on why decision-makers often ask for “data”, but what they really want is information that will help them understand a problem or a condition around the decisions that need to be made. However, they often do not know what data is available, what it is called, and how the data they need derived can be expressed.

Topic Overview:

This presentation focuses on converting large volumes of data into useful information by using graphic means, which is understandable to the human eye-brain combination. We will explore the data-to-information life cycle, and all the potential points of failure or misinterpretation along that path. We will also look at the analysis and graphic tools and techniques through which such information is expressed for human eye-brain consumption.


The role of context (historical, lateral, etc.) is important in giving information greater meaning. We will survey graphical techniques and case studies which illustrate how important context is in understanding the true outcomes of a data point. For example, one common characteristic of most measures in business, society and economic activity is constant growth. But the rate of growth, and a declining share of total activity may be masked by that raw growth. We will explore simple mathematical and graphic techniques for putting raw metrics into more meaningful context.


This presentation also features a “rogue’s gallery” of really bad charts which we will review, and discuss why they are misleading (or unreadable) and how they can be improved.


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Speaker Bio:

Michael  SchofieldMichael Scofield is an Assistant Professor of Health InformationManagement at Loma Linda University. He is a popular speaker, writer, and consultant in the fields of data management, data quality assessment, and data visualization.


His career includes education and private industry in the areas of data quality, decision-support systems, data warehousing, and data management. His articles appear in DM Review, the B-Eye Newsletter, InformationWeekmagazine, the Northern California Oracle User Group Journal, the IBI Systems Journal, and other professional journals. He has spoken to over 240 professional audiences in these disciplines all over the U.S., in London and Australia. He also has a variety of topics for general audiences. These topics include satellite imagery, the succession to the British monarchy, and various travel topics. He also has humor published in the L.A. Times and other journals.

Food will be served. An online donation of $10.00 in support of SCQAA-SF is appreciated. Please register here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact