What do you mean by that?

Good communication really is hard. Trying to convey even a simple message when you are constrained to only words is especially difficult.

Fortunately, digital pictures, charts, and graphs all can aid in understanding the meanings behind words. And even more fortunately, programs like Photoshop and Excel can make the preparation and display of pictures, charts and graphs almost instant (or at least highly spontaneous).

One of the things we learn early on in the class, and start developing in this tutorial lab, is how to use our Sony Mavrica digital camera to take pictures of mock flesh wounds. For example, the one shown here is not realy a tear in somone's finger, but rather carefully applied theater paint. In this kind of exercise, we learn to appreciate the trade-offs between image resolution (here 640x480), colors (here 4096), and file size. hand wound
Consider that you had the job of telling members of your clinic when they had met a particular production quota for the month or week, bringing in a certain amount of billables and treating the clinic's clients in the right number of specializations. How could you do this?

With Excel's pie charting capabilities, and the use of "pivot tables", it isn't hard at all. In fact, in this tutorial lab, we learn how to do this form of communication on-the-fly. Future professionals can then picture themselves in a staff meeting, with production data at hand, dynamically arranging and rearranging them until just the right combination of graphical results were achieved, all the time they were actively engaged in discussion. A quick projection of the results (such as at the right) would solidify their points.

production pie chart

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