Sight is arguably the most vital sense humans have, with visual information making up 90% of the data our brain consumes. That’s why so much of society is focused on a visual representation of information, from billboards to pop-ups to the social media apps that have hooked our eyeballs for years. In the business world, back in 1979, we got the spreadsheet with its well-known rows & columns and then the digital dashboard with fairly static pie charts & graphs in the late 90’s. While great at the time, neither of those are the way most people consume data or analyze it to make useful business decisions.
Data visualization has come a long way but some people don’t know what options they actually have now. So let’s remedy that and dive into how businesses can and should be using the latest tools (*cough* like Domo data visualization *cough*).
Great Ways You Can Visualize Your Data
Data visualization is more than just dashboards and real-time data. Regardless of your industry or scope, there are many ways a business can leverage tools to improve its efficiencies, decision making, and bottom line.
Using data visualization, you can keep on top of what’s changing and see the shifts in your market to stay ahead of the curve. By comparing data relative to time, you can see changes in frequency, for example how often a certain customer is placing orders or a certain product is out of stock, and changes over time, like an unfortunate increase in injuries that should be investigated or a pleasant decrease in support calls indicating an improvement in customer satisfaction.
Graphs and charts detailing data over time make it easier to see patterns as they emerge by drawing focus to relevant data. From there, your team can investigate correlations and see how decisions in one area may have affected another area of the company. This insight allows everyone to craft informed strategies faster, boosting productivity and profitability.
Creating visuals to keep tabs on internal trends, like purchases, marketing results, or distribution snags, can help you see what works and what doesn’t. Graphics make quick work of comparing month-to-month or year-over-year in a way that makes sense to everyone, allowing your business to create and hit goals.
Using charts and graphs to track and sort data effectively, you can seamlessly manage big-picture items. For example, Domo data visualization offers project management specific tools with GANTT charts & timelines. These increase the accuracy and speed of internal reporting with powerful automation features, helping projects stay on track and raising red flags ahead of ‘crunch time’.
Best Way to Approach Data Visualization
Before you grab up some software and start slapping together graphics and eye-pleasing color combos, there are a few things to consider to make the most of it. For example, when helping a client with Domo data visualization, we go through the following questions so we can optimize and strategize how to best use visuals:
- Have you confirmed your data is accurate?
Make sure your data experts provide you with up-to-date, fully fleshed-out data to work from before you start visualizing it. Without accurate data, you get a flawed visual representation, simple as that, and it’s back to the (figurative and literal) drawing board.
- What will be communicated?
Figuring out the story you need your data to tell is key to determining how you visualize it. Without knowing what your data is trying to say, you risk doing more work than necessary and sharing the wrong data instead of focusing on the visualizations you need for the job.
- How experienced is the viewer?
Equally important to “what” is being communicated is to “who.” Knowing this lets you determine how much of your data you need to break down into visuals and how to organize it all. If it’s too complicated, your audience will mentally check out while making it too basic could leave your team without crucial info.
- What is necessary for you to visualize?
You want to remember the old acronym KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid. Keep your visualizations focused on what’s necessary for your audience and the story the data needs to convey. This is a tool for emphasis, not doing the whole job as clutter will only distract from the point you’re trying to make.
You can’t escape how vital data is to every industry, so being able to rapidly process and share trustworthy information is critical to your success. Our team knows the power of Domo data visualization, as we’ve sat in many meetings with pie charts and infographics on display. Reach out to our Domo experts to talk more about how we can help you take your data from blah info in the sheets to pretty graphics full of deets.