Step 7: Other Suggestions and Considerations

* It is always best to include the source of where exactly you obtained your data. This can be done by placing the source (for example, it may look like "Source: US Census Bureau" or "Source: City of Cleveland Planning Dept.") in the bottom left-hand corner of your graph or table. This allows persons who may want to verify or further explore what you've provided to easily access data that you've used in your presentation.

* Microsoft Excel is a great program to use for creating graphs and charts. This program is available on the vast majority of computers at area public libraries. Training on how to use Excel to make charts and graphs as well as perform arithmetic is offered rather frequently at the Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Public Libraries. Visit the Cleveland Public Library's Events Calendar for this and other offerings.

* In Microsoft Word, you can create tables right within the body of the document in which you are writing. Or, you can copy and paste those tables, graphs and charts into a letter, memo, or hand out. View the help menu of each program for instructions about how to do this.

* Always give your presentation a meaningful title. It is also helpful to include who has prepared the data display and when it was completed.

* There's no use in replicating data that is already out there. If data is available, it really isn't necessary to use your time and other resources to recollect the same data over again.

* Be sure to address any uncertainties in the data. For example, how old is the data? Is it still accurate, or has it changed?

* For a printable copy of NeighborhoodLink's Short Course to Data and Statistics,
please click here.

* Finally, "First Seek to Understand, then to be Understood."

So Now What?

Congratulations, you've graduated our short course! So now what?

* Use your statistics to strengthen your Neighborhood Connections or City Works proposals. If you aren't familiar with these programs, both award small grants to community groups involved in projects to better their neighborhoods. Click here to visit The Cleveland Foundation's Neighborhood Connections website to see guidelines for applications, projects that have been funded in the past, and much more. Click here to visit the City of Cleveland's City Works grant program.

* Share a problem or concern that you've discovered in your community with a public official. Write a letter or appear at a public meeting. A list of the times and dates of local public meetings can be accessed by clicking here.

* Visit these links:

NeighborhoodLink - This link will take you to the main page of NeighborhoodLink. Explore a variety of resources and information about Cleveland and its neighborhoods.

Cleveland Neighborhood Statistics - Find various information about Cleveland neighborhoods, including demographics, housing characteristics, crime and public safety, economic status and educational attainment.

Public Meeting Times and Dates - Attend a public meeting and participate in the political process. Also includes information about contacting your legislators and representatives.