SHOULD YOU USE GRAPHICS?
When you're confronted with a budgeting application, you know a spreadsheet is the right tool for the job. But what situations demand the services of a graphics program? Specifically, what benefits can you expect, which type of graphics should you use, and how much time will it take to learn and use a graphics program?
While most people agree that graphics increase the effectiveness of communication, a study conducted in 1981 by the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business gave specific dimensions to the persuasive power of graphics. When presenters used visuals to make a point, audiences voted 2 to 1 in support of that position, regardless of which side of an issue the presenter advocated. However, without graphics, presenters on either side of the issue were able to achieve only an evenly split vote.
Confirming the results of the earlier Wharton study, a 1986 study by the University of Minnesota's Management Information Systems Research Center concluded that presentations incorporating computer-generated graphics were 43% more persuasive than presentations made without them. Both studies also found …