In the companies I run I rely on visualized data daily. I love it. After many years, I am not always conscious of why, but I will offer a few explanatory thoughts.
It is appealing to see organized, filtered, meaningful data visualized. As humans, the majority of our brain processing is routed to the visual cortex which is why, if you ask anyone you meet, if they had to lose a sense (smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing), which is the last sense they would part with, almost universally your respondent will say sight.
We depend on sight for everything and we have evolved over eons to quickly process visual cues; from non-verbal communication when talking with someone to the outer visual periphery that can pick up on unknown movement almost instantaneously. Our sight feeds us information about the world non-stop, every day.
In fact, in the womb, our retinas form when parts of our brain grow out to generate the retinal structure. Our eyes our mini brains: it’s absolutely fascinating!
Providing a visualization to data can quickly and easily summarize data to allow us to quickly know what our issues are that day, what the status is, and where we should focus our most diminishing commodity: our time.
As business leaders attempting to determine the trends over time, or the weaknesses of our organization, we need to see data in an organized, interactive way. We need to be able to make decisions almost on a minute-by-minute basis. Having the data at an initial glance is necessary to not waste any time – there is never enough time.
The image above is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of widgets that we have created over the years that helps directors and managers determine on what items they should focus on a daily basis. Widgets are key to give at-a-glance snapshots of data. Enabling click-through drill-down functionality helps leaders know what to do. It’s an example of how and why data visualization is so imperative.
One of any organization’s biggest challenges is effective communication. Oftentimes I think to myself, “why do I take time to explain this when I can do it faster on my own?” Unfortunately, that selfish thought is self-destructive.
I can think of a time, in my past, when I would do that exact thing and quickly became inundated with too many requests to complete while frustrating my direct reports. It became a death spiral of challenges, frustration, and missed expectations.
Then it dawned on me – show the individuals on whom you rely exactly what the outcome should look like. Now, having written that, it seems simplistic but it was life-changing for me. If I show any person exactly the outcome I expected, they immediately understood what I was looking for and usually why. Although they couldn’t always complete every task to get there, they could instantly see the vision and would eagerly look forward to helping. Producing documents to visualize the outcome, greatly increases communication.
You can see the main points in bold above: Visualization, Discovery, and Communication are why visualized data is so useful to us.
We help you get there.