Fancy Doodles

23 Jul

One of my favorite parts of my still relatively new job as an evaluator is being able to tell the stories of our programs not only in words, but also in pictures. Regular readers of my blog know how much I enjoy and value sketching, doodling, and drawing as part of my work process, and I’ve enjoyed sharing my sketchnotes over the past few years here on my blog, but my new role allows me to create infograms for each newsletter produced by the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science. I thought I’d share some here.

When I had to report on the current work of our funded clinical scholars, I decided to highlight how a small group of people (6) can lead to much larger groups and connections and ultimately, outputs such as subsequent funding and peer-reviewed papers. Turning those facts into pictures, I came up with this:


For those curious, I used PowerPoint to draw this graphic. The dollar signs and presentation screens are clip art, but the rest I was able to draw by hand. You can draw pretty much anything with triangles and rectangles and circles. 🙂

Next, I had to report on the progress of another group of funded researchers – our Pilot Project Program Awardees. I took the information given to me via lengthy written reports and turned it into this graphic to show the importance and value of Team Science. For this one, I tested out the infographic site, It allows you to do many things via their free version.


Most recently, the Principal Investigator for our Center wanted to know about the funding of these Pilot Projects since we began doing so, back in 2007. What could we say about this program, since we initiated it? I decided one thing worth evaluating was our return on investment. Since 2007, the UMCCTS has awarded around $5 million to fund research that promotes collaboration between basic science and clinical researchers, provides seed funding for ideas to grow, and advances translational science. What’s been the return on that investment? Turning back to PowerPoint, I created this graphic:

PPP Investment

It’s a challenge to collect and analyze the data behind these images, but in many ways the bigger challenge is to figure out which story is the one to tell and how best to tell it. It’s a skill of an accomplished evaluator, something that I can’t really call myself only 8 months into the job, but I’m happy to report that it’s both interesting and rewarding to work towards such a goal.

5 Responses to “Fancy Doodles”

  1. Courtney July 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Awesome!!!! I’ve made one piddly flow chart/infographic in PPT but this really inspires me to try more!! Awesome!

    • salgore July 23, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Challenge the PPT! You can do it!! 🙂

  2. Holly Miller (@millerhj) July 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    I love your infographics! They are a great way to explain data and tell a story, as you said. You have inspired me to think about creating them as well. Can you suggest some resources for someone who has never made one before?

    • salgore July 23, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Thanks, Holly. I’ve read a number of books on data visualization, to start, and information design in general. There are so many good ones out there. The website offers both a tool and some resources. Piktochart is supposed to be free and easy, too, though I’ve not tried it yet. I also really like the company They’re professionals, but offer a lot of resources for good ideas. Their community is active. I subscribe to their email list and enjoy seeing the different things that people create. Check them out.

  3. Ed Donnald August 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    And the reason’s why I know we worked so well (way back when) and I like you so much continue to grow. I’m right there with you on the visualization of data and consider myself quite dangerous using PowerPoint for anything but those dreaded 3 bullet point snore fests. I’ve toyed with templates of infographics for my Library reports and am currently using PP to create a visual interface for my Nursing Research Group. All good stuff!!

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