It is never quite an unfamiliar situation when you are asked to conduct a presentation on your company’s annual turnover and other projections to your stakeholders. Often we find ourselves in a position where we have to effectively convey a considerable mass of data to to a great number of audience. Here’s where data visualization comes in to save the day.
The current digital ecosystem is such a place wherein data should be presented visually and not in paragraphs or sentences. Long sentences are considered tad boring and lack the potentiality to grab attention. However, the visual presentation of data is not always easy and involves well thought out planning.
Sometimes, plain numbers and statistics don’t give the whole picture. However, when supported by finely designed graphs, charts and tables, they evoke the intended effect. Each day, a company produces a massive amount of data. Managing this steady flow of Big Data gets strenuous without a proper visualization strategy.
Given the fact that visuals breathe life into a huge pile of otherwise bland information, this technique of information display has become a vital marketing tool. When your audience witnesses the novel way you have presented your data, they get impressed. And that’s how you win over the crowd.
The importance of data visualization can never be belittled. And the more this concept is evolving with time, the more we see various ways they are leveraged for business profits. Data visualization tableau is all about architecture; the careful choice of graphics, the linear flow, the patterns – everything matters when you create a visual piece.
Myriads of data visualization examples are scattered all over the digital realm. The primary challenge lies in choosing which kind of visuals will work for your purpose. And what sort of interpretation your target audience would grasp. Visual data demands excellent story-telling. Hone your story-telling skill to spawn a competent visual piece.
The top 5 data visualization techniques that every marketer must know:
A. Gauge your Audience
Every individual is different from the other from every perspective. What is engaging to one person, might not be to another. Don’t assume before you start creating your visual piece. Ensure that you do both – engage and cater. Along with engaging the audience, see that the visuals cater to every one of your audience. Some people are happy with simple pie charts, but some want further minute details.
So always perform prior research of the audience you are about to face and try to map their preferences. Not saying you would hit the bull’s eye in your first attempt. But with experience, you would become a pro at it.
B. Don’t Forget – Colors Play a Crucial Role
Keeping the right color balance is important, never let anything ruin that. Right colors will seal your success pretty fast and also enhance your presentation assets to a great extent. Don’t play with too many colors and create a visual jerk. Stick to one or two primary colors and use contrasts to differentiate between elements, such as red for negative and green for positive.
Simply put, use colors in such a way that the intended message gets duly conveyed.
C. Give Importance to Hierarchy
Even if you are an evangelist for equality in every stage of life, while creating a presentation for your target audience, you have to give way to hierarchy. Maintaining this fundamental element is paramount. Because that’s what makes your audience understand which data to give the most attention, and which not to.
Hierarchy, layout and order must be in perfect order. A clearly labeled data is easier to decipher than an ambiguous one.
D. Get… Set… Goal!
Your content is incomplete until you set a goal for yourself. As to why you are preparing it and what kind of purpose it will serve to you or to your company as a whole. By establishing a set goal, you create a real collaborative environment that ultimately serves your purpose.
Use a set of predetermined KPIs to project your visual story and measure the success of your effort.
E. Harness the Power of Network Graphics and Word Clouds/Graphics
While dealing with unstructured or semi-structured data in your visual content, try using network diagrams and word clouds. Though the two are used for separate purposes, these are intertwined. Network diagrams are apt for data analysts, network engineers, data architectures and designers, to fathom the sequence of each data.
While word clouds are graphics that are made with words that are contextually related. The amusing thing of a word cloud is, the size of each word determines its importance within the context. The smaller the size, lesser is the importance, and vice versa!
These kinds of graphical assets not only embellish your data, but also establish your dexterity.
So these were some of the data visualization techniques that marketers must be paying heed to. Now talking about how to leverage them, let’s raise the curtain to unveil the many ways data visualization can be leveraged by marketers (read successful marketers :))!
1. Line Charts
Line graphs are best to demonstrate trends over time or comparison between to variables. Extremely appropriate in the fields of statistics or denoting sales figures, annual turnovers, profit margins, so and so. Depicting the changes or trends over a period of time, line graphs are perfect making predictions about results that are not yet recorded.
Maps are the hot favorite in any board meeting as they give a better ability to understand an organization’s locations all over the world. Through a map, your visual demonstration gets enhanced ten-fold as it gives a quick view of the company’s activity across multiple locations.
In data analysis, we sometimes use geographic locations and spatial data to measure success and failure. Maps give a more intuitive, easy to understand data analysis to the company leaders to point out the loopholes.
3. Pie Chart
Though we know pie charts have been done to death, still these engaging visual pies are enough to grab the attention of the onlookers. Pie charts are convenient to showcase relative proportions of multiple cases, to summarize a large data set and display the proportional formation of a certain variable. And when designed right, pie charts effectively disseminate information to even an uninformed audience.
4. Column Chart
Column charts are similar to bar charts, but the primary difference is column charts show data as a set of rectangular columns. These kinds of charts support in visualizing data by showing data comparisons of different values.
Changes over time by displaying comparisons, for e.g.; data of state-wise votes and which state performed the best, showing average subject scores to determine which subjects the students lag in – these kinds of data can be visually showed through column charts.
5. Gauge Chart
A simple gauge chart can effectively showcase an immediate trend indication and are apt for financial or executive reports. Gauge charts are fundamentally used to display progress against KPIs, whether a marketing effort is in the right direction or not, whether the effort is above or below the target.
A gauge chart or gauge indicator could determine all these. You can make this all the more effective by incorporating color coding, like red or green, or up and down arrows – denoting positive and negative, respectively.
6. Area Chart
Depicting a time-series relationship, area charts work really well in displaying data in chronological order. Area charts are mainly used for business meetings to give a sense of the overall volume of revenue and cost. Based on the line chart, this kind of charts can be easily misinterpreted if not handled rightly.
Visualizations like these can be greatly leveraged for business. These help to impose a reality check on the revenue estimations and are mainly used to communicate the magnitude of a trend.
7. Number Chart
If you intend to exhibit any immediate and interactive overview of a KPI, number charts come in handy. Be it a sale key performance indicator, or percentage of evolution or website traffic, number charts can bring out the actual analytics and thus visually enhances the presentation.
8. Bar Chart
Another remarkable tool in your arsenal is the bar chart. Bar graphs are primarily the pictorial depiction of analytical and statistical data. These charts are immensely helpful to compare different values and show all the data categories in a frequency distribution. A marketer can aptly win over an audience by incorporating bar charts into his/her visual presentation.
9. Pivot Table
Unlike the plain and simple tables inserted into any visual piece, marketers can leverage their visualization strategy with pivot tables. These program tools don’t have the reputation of looking too cool and beautiful though. Yet when key stats and figures are required to extract quickly, pivot tables make things easier.
Pivot tables make data analysis a lot simple and allow the user to summarize the rows and columns. On can get valuable insights from a pivot without any hassle. For e.g., complex data of a hospital can be summarized to generate a detailed view of the number of patients, overall cost and average days admitted. Simply put, pivot tables are pivotal elements in the whole visualization landscape.
10. Scatter and Bubble Charts
Scatter and Bubble charts are somewhat similar to each other pertaining to the way they present data. They are mainly used to depict the relationship between and the distribution of two variables. Moreover, when there are a few categories that are highly significant instead of their lesser significant counterparts.
The categories are represented by color, and the volumes by the size of the circles. These charts are suitably used to prove political stances, but can also be put to use in business. in case you have to determine the areas of highest expenditure or any misplaced priorities, to curb the increasing costs.
Turning Over To You
So here starts your visual journey. With all said and done, we hope you have now got a pretty good idea about the different ways in which one can leverage data visualization. Well honestly, there are more of these charts and graphs, data visualization types can be many. But the ones listed above are potent enough to furnish your visualization effort.
However, no matter which visual genre you choose for your business purpose, ensure they engage, convey and convert people. To make any visualization effective, the data must be accurate – the content must be avante-garde. Because content is still the king! So you have to get your content enough crisp and engaging to get that desired traction.
So now it’s your turn to create your own visual data piece and impress your audience. Give it a spin and present your audience with a powerful visual experience. Whether you get help from a pro, or you do it all by yourself, make sure your audience can interact with the data and is left with no confusion. That will ultimately cement your stature as an industry expert!