Data visualization is an expanding suite of concepts and tools to enhance business presentations and communications. Part science, technology, and art all rolled into one, effective data visualizations increase your presentation’s impact and influence. Visuals typically evoke a more powerful, emotional audience response compared to numbers in spreadsheets or text. People naturally react to engaging graphics, and engaged audiences are more insightful and receptive to new ideas. Recent research emphasizes the connection between strong visuals and rapid decision-making as information is processed and assigned meaning.
This article from the blog of Tuan Nguyen highlights some features of good data visualizations applied to business presentations. The goal is to clarify and strengthen your use of data visualization throughout your business operations, marketing campaigns, and investor meetings.
Simple Designs Grab and Hold Viewer Attention
Basic data visualizations compose raw data and information in the form of charts, plots, graphs, and maps. Use graphic design principles to craft and deliver more appealing visual content. Simplify text and fonts, employ color and patterns strategically, and use white space to achieve an uncluttered, clean effect. Adopt a unique layout, and place the emphasis on your message to avoid confusing the viewer.
A great way to communicate information to your audience is with infographics. These are easy-to-follow illustrations that explain a process, provide instruction, or otherwise communicate information. Making one yourself is easy—to create your infographic, use an online tool. You can quickly customize everything from the size and color to the images and fonts. Best of all, it’s free!
Business processes, data flows, company structures, and supply-chain dynamics are effectively portrayed with a combination of flow charts, Venn diagrams, and tree or pyramid maps. Spatial data illustrate geographical networks, regional features, and logistical concepts and are appropriately displayed in map formats. Maps allow viewers to pinpoint potential bottlenecks and overlaps. Increasingly, photographic street views, digital aerial data, and satellite images are used as thematic overlays to show business data and marketing products with realistic and recognizable urban features and landscapes.
Take Plots, Graphs, and Charts to the Next Level
Copious and expanding business data streams mean presenters need to know how to make sense of complex, multidimensional, and fluid data sets. Animations use timelines and time-referenced data, such as monthly sales figures, to illustrate variability and change. Infographics often tell a more nuanced story by moving beyond the raw data to emphasize high-level interpretations, intuitive knowledge, and context for inspirational or educational insights.
Visualizations paint a dynamic picture for your audience. The next level involves 3D models, blended data perspectives, and interactive graphs. Machine learning and real-time analytics play a role here. React to new data inputs without delay, learn on-the-fly, and apply AI techniques to instantly recognize, map, and display patterns in business data. Data visualizations automatically translate and transform the wealth of new information for human audiences. Often, learning algorithms and data visualizations work together to break larger business issues down, so you can consider more manageable business challenges individually rather than trying to take in — and solve — the bigger problem all at once.
Achieve More With Data Visualization
Complex business ideas, data, and messages conveyed in graphical, storytelling forms help create a shared understanding by engaging audiences on the visual, even visceral, level. Employees, investors, and customers all benefit when business presenters use compelling visualizations to support a meaningful narrative.