Whether it’s infographics, maps, flow charts, or other design-driven diagrams, data visualization is now seen as the preferred way to interact with data. In fact, infographics and other visualizations have been some of the most shared images in social media history. Why? They’re easy to understand, quick, and beautiful. They engage.
These visuals are important, but the ability for businesses to go the next step and make actionable decisions based on predictive visual analytics allows them to stay ahead of the competition. With the amount of data being collected all around the world, new and interesting pieces of data are being uncovered all the time, demanding the need for analytic sophistication. Companies need to go beyond what is just there visually and interact with predictive models in order to get true value out of their decisions.
Data as Art
In a world where many of us scroll through dry spreadsheets and presentations filled with stale clip art, beautiful data is a sight for sore eyes. Data visualization has been a powerful tool for marketers and journalists with infographic designers charging between $1,000-$10,000 for an engaging, sharable piece of data art. But while companies are investing in designers to drive engagement externally, how many companies are using our appetite for data visualization to drive change with its tough audience – its internal one? It is remarkably differentiating to make your data work for you by enabling everyone to be a data scientist.
Obsessing over Data
Recently on the HBR Blog, TIBCO Spotfire’s dashboards were highlighted as the standard decision-making tool for leaders at Proctor & Gamble. The post talks about how visualizing data through graphic dashboards, sales heatmaps, and other tools have become a part of daily communication. With a global company as large as P&G, the importance of establishing a common data visualization language has become a necessity for managing the business. “P&G tries to make its graphics and colors ‘Apple simple’ to ensure that managers can focus on the important business issues wherever they are in the world.” The value of having a consistent view of big data allows P&G senior managers get up to speed quickly, and the company has seen firsthand how clear, data-rich graphics drive communication internally.
Companies today are obsessed with data – collecting it, mining it, and are on the constant lookout for data-driven employees. But, data is only powerful if you can convey what it means. Data communication and comprehension can drive collaborations on teams by giving context and delivering lots of information with one glance. How can your company make everyone a data scientist creating visual, actionable art?