Graphs and tables are indispensable aids to quantitative research. When developing a clinical prediction rule that is based on a cardiovascular risk score, there are many visual displays that can assist in developing the underlying statistical model, testing the assumptions made in this model, evaluating and presenting the resultant score. All too often, researchers in this field follow formulaic recipes without exploring the issues of model selection and data presentation in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Some ideas on how to use visual displays to make wise decisions and present results that will both inform and attract the reader are given. Ideas are developed, and results tested, using subsets of the data that were used to develop the ASSIGN cardiovascular risk score, as used in Scotland.