Home > Conferences, Meeting Notes > Analytics Camp 2013 – Brain Friendly Presentations

Analytics Camp 2013 – Brain Friendly Presentations

Session 3 of Analytics Camp 2013 for me is Brain Friendly Presentations with Sidd Chopra

Chopra is an experience speaker with toastmasters. Once worked at SAS.
Started with several slides from the O-ring analysis of shuttle booster rockets. Finally, the outcome of the Challenger explosion. “PowerPoint makes us stupid” Gen James N. Mattis.

2013-05-04 13.39.10

This session is a little different than the “normal” unconference in that he has prepared well.

Sometimes the visualization fails to tell the story. We have got advanced in how we present data, but our brain can’t process it. Our brain needs explanation. Shows different size pizzas and asks which is bigger, by how much?

We spend a lot of money developing products to visualize data, but the flatter graphic may be clearer.

We go back to what is the question we are asking. How do you decide which type of visualization to use? what decision needs to be made? Who decides that?

Brains are focused on things that it finds interesting. It gets analysis paralysis at a molecular level. Wired to find out what is important and then details. We hide conclusions many times to show the data.

Chart suggestions – A Thought Starter

Q: What is the purpose of the brain? A: to control movement.

Example of a sea sponge with brain set solely to find a place to land. It then eats its brain.

What decision makers fear. They don’t like surprises. They want clarity, warnings of threats. They want an Easy Button. Data visualization should provide easy way to visualize what they want. We often overload the audience with data dumps. It is our objective to make their decision makers life easier.

I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand. This is what we have been saying rather than the apposite.

Decisions need to be made.

But our brains are flawed. They process information differently. People aren’t color blind, they perceive colors differently.


Biases. Shows the innocence test.


They have a 3 day workshop that they teach on how the brain works.

Told the Richard Feynman story about testing the O-rings on the shuttle disaster and how powerful the demo was for everyone. The folks could understand it.


Brains are designed for efficiency not accuracy

We are not logical decision makers

you are competing for mindshare

confusion never sells but simplicity does

Categories: Conferences, Meeting Notes
  1. May 6, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Nice summary Roger. Thanks!
    One small correction.

    Our Brain Friendly Presentations workshops are 1/2 day and full day programs.
    You can learn more at: http://www.lookwiser.com/brain

    Thanks for taking notes for the group.


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