In a world where people demand instant access, visual information in the form of pictures and video communicate messages in a shorter time frame than text-based information. Do you find it easier to follow a story by reading a book (which will take days), or by watching the movie based on the book (which takes approximately 2 hours)?
As entrepreneurs, you know the importance of accessible business information. No matter if you’re researching marketplace trends or tracking metrics, access to the right information at the right time is often a primary component of good decision-making.
Visualizing your business data is often the best way to get this information. It opens up a range of possibilities, and this article will show you three reasons why.
Data Visualization Makes Information Easier to Understand
We live in a world where people rely on information being available quickly and easily. Just think of how dependent some people are on smartphones and laptops throughout the day. As an intrinsic design element of these devices, icons are displayed on screen, allowing instant access to documents, apps and software you need. This is a simple form of data visualization, but it serves as a great example of its effectiveness.
More and more, businesses are placing a larger emphasis on big data management. Often, they’ll collect reams and reams of data which could be a gold mine of useful information, but is often left at the wayside because people just can’t make sense of all the numbers. Visualizing data allows us to do this more easily. By arranging your data into a visual medium, you can spot patterns that would likely go unnoticed.
To illustrate my point, here’s a table of generic sales data.
Data Visualization Can Improve User Engagement
Skeptics of data visualization often believe that pretty pictures disguise real business issues, and are in fact style over substance. I assure you, while data visualization can result in this if used the wrong way, the ability for pictures to attract attention and maintain interest should not be dismissed.
Have you ever bought something for no reason other than the fact that it looked good? Chances are you have, and this shows how powerful appearance can be for grabbing attention. Though business data isn’t simple (i.e. relying on appearance with no substance is suicide), the principle can be used to draw people to important information.