(613) 818-2848


map your world, capture and distill your data and present it for maximum impact

Social Network Analysis - Who's talking about you? Who's a leader in your network? Where should you focus your message?

See the web of connections that spread and channel your messages and influence. Identify ‘connectors’ in your organization’s networks and to whom your research products and publications reach. Track social media traffic: who is talking about you, and to whom. Map social media at your conferences and events to create "buzz" and learn what catches attention. Mine your data on customers and stakeholders - are they connected so they can pass on your messages and are there key central players?

Visual Data Design, Reporting and Presentation - Visual data isn't just beautiful; it's faster, cheaper and better.

Communicate with clarity and impact with publication-ready data graphics, dashboards, digital reports and interactive web presentation, using state of the art tools like D3.js javascript-based visuals. Learn how to make your reports and data presentations shorter, more informative and compelling. Effective data designs make the most of your data, for marketing, business intelligence, evaluation, strategy and data journalism.

Support for Planning and Evaluation: Logic models, complex system mapping, narrative-driven reporting and presentation

With a well-specified logic model/theory of change or system mapping of their environment, an organization is well-placed to measure performance and evaluate results. Facilitated workshops surface and link key findings and evidence in a story that can be supported from differing perspectives. With evaluation narratives you can link key findings  in a story expressed in textual and visual form, using key data graphics in “infographic” or annotated dashboard formats, "slidedocs" and “one-pagers” where clarity and brevity are the focus. Finally, purposefully-designed presentations are designed to convey your ideas with structure and “arc” and leave your audience with a clear message.

What is haiku?

Haiku is a Japanese poetry form. A haiku uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the reader's mind. It is like a tiny window into a scene much larger than itself. Traditionally, haiku is written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.

Perfect. A clear picture with few words. A few rules to work with that constrain you but ultimately guide you to something beautiful.

Not ready for haikus yet? Let's get rid of that chart junk first.

angry man kicking pie graph

News and Upcoming!

I am honoured to report that my data viz course, "How to be Clear and Compelling with Data", is now offered through Intersol Group Ltd., a high quality Ottawa-based provider of training and business solutions.

This data visualization and presentation workshop engages you for a full day. You will learn the principles behind focused messaging and high-quality data presentation as taught by the leaders in the field. You will then move on to a hands-on application of these principles as we build, and rebuild, some of the classic data graphics and tackle some of the newer forms, like bullet charts and heat maps. We will learn to incorporate the new charts in succinct and engaging digital reports, infographics and dashboards, and finish with a look at options for interactive digital data presentation. For more information on this and other courses, please see the "Training" page on this site.

Who should attend: those who want to be able to put numbers into professional looking tables, graphs, reports, presentations or websites; policy analysts, program evaluators, performance managers and communication professionals in government, and performance reporters for non-profit/charitable organisations; those who would like to report on performance and results for businesses.

I am also very pleased to offer my new book "How To Be Clear And Compelling With Data". The book covers everything in my course, and more, and can be found in the Amazon Canada Kindle store. https://www.amazon.ca/How-Clear-Compelling-Data-Principles-ebook/dp/B07QW3FFYH/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=John+Burrett&qid=1578334384&s=digital-text&sr=1-4


I am proud to announce the publication of “Evaluation Ties: Connected in Common Cause”, by Wayne MacDonald, Faith Tempest and John Burrett in “UN Special: Education and Capacity-Building to Advance”, September 2018, No. 782.

This article shows how evaluation in general, and UNEG (the United Nations Evaluation Group) in particular, provides an important conduit for system wide collaboration and cooperation, that connects UN Specialised Agencies, UN Funds and Programmes and UN Secretariat affiliated organizations in common cause. The work highlights the need for joining up shared evaluation capacity (in the UN system) in a more coherent and coordinated fashion and who, in addition to UNEG members, can benefit from such forward-thinking discussions. Network mappings based on connections of UNEG organizations to UNEG’s four Strategic Objectives (SO’s), defined by participation by each organization with various working and interest groups operating under the four SO’s, provided a strong line of evidence for the report’s conclusions and recommendations. This article was based on the work by the authors on the 2018 mid-term review of UNEG’s 6-year strategic plan.http://www.unevaluation.org/mediacenter/newscenter/newsdetail/132


It was great to present at the TechGov Leadership Forum 2018!That's an annual Executive Leadership Forum presented by Canadian Government Executive Media, publishers of "Canadian Government Executive" magazine. To quote their ad: "The Forum focuses on executive leadership. It takes on the challenge of how to strategically and seamlessly link the worlds of open government, policy, and citizen-centred services while leveraging proven technology strategies". My session was on mapping networks of policy, programs and service providers as a new technology supporting better understanding and design of policy and programs. The Forum was held on January 29-30 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. More information is available at http://www.techgov.ca.

October 10/17 - Hey! I'm a Canadian Evaluation Society Credentialed Evaluator!

July 14/17 - As a member of Social Value Canada, I was pleased to see the "Impact Management Glossary" released by the Impact Management Project http://www.impactmanagementproject.com/glossaries/. The release references the Project's partnership in this work with Social Value Canada, Social Value US, and the American Evaluation Association, and we look forward to lots more meaningful progress in the next year. Stay tuned to Social Value Canada http://www.socialvalue-canada.org as we ramp up our efforts this year.

April 2/17 I'm off to Halifax to deliver two sessions of my data viz course with members of CES-Nova Scotia. Looking forward to a great couple of days!

Feb. 1/17 Thanks to the American Evaluation Association for spotlighting me in the January 2017 Newsletter - "Face of AEA - Meet John Burrett". Maybe I'm biased now, but I think the AEA is a great organization! http://www.eval.org/blog/aea-newsletter-january-2017 

Jan. 31/16 Outgoing AEA President John Gargani discussing our Conference Twitter Mapping at the AEA Conference closing plenary, October 2016. Go to the 1:30 mark for the start of the brief discussion. Also stick around to the 4:56 mark for Cameron Norman's explanation of his brilliant "Design Loft" session at the conference. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8yaksw0ibb3vip7/Closing%20Plenary.mp4?dl=0 

Nov. 22-23/16 Spent two really enjoyable days with members of the CES-Prince Edward Island Chapter delivering my data viz course. Two interesting and engaged groups of people and truly great hosts.

Oct. 31/16 The Impact Convergence and American Evaluation Association Conference, 2016 were great. I provided a running update of Twitter networks that developed over the course of these events. We will use the data to understand and strengthen the links between social impact investment leaders and evaluators.Click on this thumbnail to see the latest image of the network. This one as of mid-day Oct 31; second day after the end of the evaluation conference. There was strong connection between impact measurement and evaluation people, and a number of distinct interest clusters.both-hash-and-handle-oct-31-959I was also thrilled to give a presentation this year at AEA, entitled "Getting comfortable with complexity: a network analysis approach to program logic, design and evaluation", as well as to chair a multi-paper session entitled "Social Network analysis: A design for understanding collaboration and partnerships". And on top of this, the Impact Convergence taking place just before the conference was a real meeting of the minds on advancing social impact measurement.

I'm offering TWO NEW ONE-DAY COURSES that will quickly and dramatically improve your ability to gather, understand and present data that is important to you, your clients and your stakeholders: "One day to mapping social media" and "One day to better data presentation". You can't get all of this from a book. Perfect for staff groups and conferences - see the Training page.

I am, to quote Jamie Oliver, dead chuffed to be able to now offer INTERACTIVE DATA VISUALIZATION AND PRESENTATION USING D3.js. This javascript library allows customizable and interactive data visualizations that can be put up on any website or html page without the limitations and cost of proprietary software like Tableau and the like. See the demo pages attached to the Portfolio page of this site.

Canadian Evaluation Society Conference June 2016, St. John's - I did a SOCIAL NETWORK MAPPING OF CONFERENCE TWITTER TRAFFIC during the event. Really fun and interesting. I've shared the data and lessons learned with CES, and have written this up on my blog page. My data viz workshop was again a success - thanks to all for coming out!

Visit the American Evaluation Association's Topical Interest Group on Social Network Analysis. As the 2016 Program Chair I think we are going to make a strong showing at the 2016 AEA Conference. We are hoping to sign up some new members and start repopulating the TIG website with lots of good information: http://comm.eval.org/snatig/home.


The graphical method has considerable superiority for the exposition of statistical facts over the tabular. A heavy bank of figures is grievously wearisome to the eye, and the popular mind is as incapable of drawing any useful lessons from it as of extracting sunbeams from cucumbers. A.B. Farquhar Economic and Industrial Solutions G.B. Putnam's Sons, 1891