Poster Competition 2011/2012Guidelines for making a statistical poster

What is a statistical poster?

It is a one-page presentation that tells a story about a set of data.

The poster should:

1. be simple and have a logical progression (contain a goal, an approach, main findings and key conclusions)
2. include graphs and descriptive summaries of data
3. contain commentary on the meaning of the data
4. be self-contained (viewers should not need any extra material or information to understand the poster)
5. be visually attractive and creative
6. be readable from a distance of about 2 meters (7 feet) when printed on A1 paper (maximum size).

Steps in poster making

1. Find a question

First find an issue or question to study within the general theme of the students environment, not limited to environmental issue.

The question should be:

1. clearly defined to make it easier to collect relevant data
2. interesting so people will want to read the poster
3. not too difficult but should not have an obvious answer.

2. Collect or use existing data

Before collecting data, plan carefully what you need to measure. Decide whether data already available is sufficient for your needs before you embark on collecting data.  Collecting data is expensive and time consuming.  When using existing data from other sources, make sure they are reliable and that sources are cited.

3. Review data quality

Does the data represent a general situation?

Data is variable (which is why we need statistics!) but may also have errors. What are the possible sources of errors in the data?

No matter how well the measurements or observations are made, there may still be some sources of variability or errors. Think about sources of variability or errors and if possible mention them in the poster.

You can also give suggestions on how the study could have been improved.

4. Analyse the data

Analyze the data collected, either by hand or by using a computer program.

Remember, you are investigating the original issue or question.

Use numbers and graphs to describe the data.

For example, use histograms, bar charts, line charts, pie charts and box plots. Statistical quantities like mean, median or standard deviation are also useful.

5. Make the poster

Posters must be electronic

1. up to 2 Mb (for example, made with PowerPoint)
2. vertical or horizontal
3. in PDF or Jpeg and must be readable from a distance of about 2 meters (7 feet) when printed on A1 paper (maximum size)
4. the name of the school or students names should not be on the front of the poster.

Content

Posters are designed to be looked at for a short time only, but should:

1. at least include the topic and how it was studied, the main results, and a discussion about the results and principal conclusions
2. be presented using pictures and key graphs
3. tell the story of the data with simple text
4. include summaries but not all the raw data.

Remember, there is only limited space so don't repeat things. Pick only the graphs that best present the results. Graphs should be titled and commented.

NB: Posters will not be returned after the competition