Even if you have the most important data in the world, you’ll have a hard time getting your clients and employees to pay attention unless you present it in a visual medium. People are drawn to visuals because they help them quickly identify the important points, comprehend vital emerging trends, and realize patterns in data. In other words, this type of presentation works far better than a big block of text.
With that in mind, here are four ways to visualize your business’ data for maximum absorption by your target audience.
Image via Flickr by chilot
Pie charts are a valuable method of presenting specific types of data. In particular, research shows that they work best for proportions where you want to separate specific groups or classes from the whole data set.
Of course, a pie chart won’t be very effective if you have too many groups. Instead, stick with three to 10 to make the chart easy to read. Additionally, each slice should be significantly different from the other slices; otherwise, it will simply look like every category is equal, which won’t be as visually stimulating.
Infographics are a vitally important part of both marketing and business development. In fact, a study of 100 businesses found that 56 percent of companies use infographics. Even more impressively, 84 percent of companies who have used them rank them as the most effective visual medium.
Making an infographic requires special attention to design, including image choices, fonts, spacing, and colors. If you don’t feel comfortable manipulating these elements, it’s best to leave the creative process to a seasoned professional. Overall, infographics work great for all forms of data presentation, including for client meetings and web advertising.
In the same study that looked at pie charts, researchers also found that line graphs were an effective means of data presentation. Using a line graph, you can present a series of numeric data with related values with a change based on the Y-axis variable. For example, line graphs are excellent tools for showing a rise or fall in time, money, or temperature.
Don’t just keep your line graph drab and mechanical. Give it some visual potency by color-coding different values and labeling all variables so your audience can understand exactly what the data means.
You probably made your first Venn diagrams back in elementary school when learning about how to categorize things. However, they are still a useful tool in business when you want to define relationships between different groups.
Instead of trying to explain a complicated relationship between different sectors of your company, a Venn diagram lets you visually demonstrate just how teams or individuals will be working together. You can even use this method for clients who want to understand more of how your internal process works.
Whatever method of data visualization you choose, always make sure it’s clean, easy to read, and accurate. In many cases, people make errors like duplicating text, leaving out crucial legends, or choosing the wrong visualization tool for the given data. Avoid these downfalls, and you’ll have a graphic or chart that will make your next presentation an astounding success.