Got Lots of Information? Try Data Visualization
Most entrepreneurs work with data almost every day. However, looking at pages filled with numbers isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can cause you to miss the bigger picture. Data visualization can help you interpret and understand your information better. It can also help you present it more effectively to employees, stakeholders, and customers.
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What Is Data Visualization?
Most companies keep data about their processes to track their efforts, improve on concepts that aren’t working, and note what is going well. Your business may track data such as:
- Website traffic
- Sales data
- Customer information
- Warehouse inventory
- Marketing campaign results
- Business trends
- Statistics on your competition
Data visualization is the method of presenting information in a graphical or visual format. The concept has been around for centuries. People have drawn maps, graphs, and pie charts to depict geography, statistics, and wartime battle information.
Today, you can find data visualization in every setting that requires people to understand trends and statistics. Schools, businesses, and nonprofits use charts, infographics, plots, and animations to present information in an easy-to-comprehend format.
Does Data Visualization Add Value to Your Internal Operations?
Imagine you are holding a sales meeting. You hand out spreadsheets filled with numbers and statistics regarding last quarter’s sales. It’s vital information, but you and your staff members spend the first half of the meeting swimming through the numbers.
Here’s another scenario: You hand out a presentation of last quarter’s sales depicted in a graph. Instead of deciphering the information for 30 minutes, employees quickly review the chart and jump in with suggestions and comments.
Data visualization helps people scan information. According to scientists, the brain can process images in 13 milliseconds. It demonstrates that for most, a graph is faster to read than a spreadsheet.
You can use it to correlate information and identify trends. In the sales meeting example, imagine you present a timeline of last quarter’s marketing campaign. Sales staff can compare the campaign’s stages against profits and see if they match up. You may find correlations you didn’t expect, and you can plan smarter for the next quarter.
What Does it Add to Your Marketing Campaigns?
At its core, marketing is about telling a story. Stories are better with pictures, and data visualization adds those pictures to your marketing story.
The sales-meeting example shows how data visualization helps your sales team process information quickly to make better decisions. You can also employ data visualization to help your investors see the big picture. Use graphs to represent information such as:
- Sales projections
- Target market maps
- Historical data
Graphs and pictures are excellent marketing tools. You don’t have much time to grab a customer’s attention, so it gives you an advantage.
What Are Some Helpful Data Visualization Tools?
Your choice of tools depends on the audience and your goals:
- Your marketing team can use a map depicting the target market areas in your city for a postcard campaign.
- Line charts are great for showing trends over time.
- Color-coded bar charts depict several values at once to break down difficult comparisons.
- Bubble charts are good for visualizing multiple variables.
- Funnel charts lend well to sales pipelines.
Of course, your own knowledge remains the most valuable tool there is. If data visualization is beyond your purview at the moment, you can go back to school to earn an online data science master’s. Such a degree will be a huge asset as you move forward and take advantage of data visualization. Best of all, there are options to get your degree online and at your own pace.
Whether you’re communicating with your employees, investors, or customers, data visualization can help. It breaks down information into easily digestible groups to get your message across faster and better.
Images via Pexels