Effective communication of data is a challenge that has always plagued Market Researchers looking to make data readily available and easily consumable. In an environment where Market Insights sometimes struggles to be heard amongst other organizational voices, it is essential to have deliverables that are highly engaging, informative, and clear.
Although displaying data in a visual format is not new—researchers have seen the value of charts and graphs for decades—the world of “Big Data” has brought a spike in interest, as Researchers seek new ways to find patterns and communicate insight. The most progressive Market Insights functions are embracing data visualization as another tool in their arsenal—a way to make sure that customer knowledge gets embedded in the business.
The Data Visualization Playbook that we put together to help CEB Market Insights members improve and optimize their data presentation is one of the most popular destinations on our web site. So, when I saw a recent HBR blog by presentation expert Nancy Duarte I knew that the topic would be right on point for our readers. She compiled 5 questions to help you make the right visualization decision for your data situation:
- Context: Presentation or circulation? Presentations need less detail, more getting to the point.
- What kind of chart or table is best? To answer this, really think about which relationship you are trying to emphasize. CEB Market Insights members, access sample chart templates to help you choose the right format for every data presentation situation.
- Does the visual draw eyes to my message? Visualization tactics should draw eyes to what you need to highlight. At CEB we refer to “the teaching point”—what is the one thing that people should take away. This system applies well to presentation decisions: always think about the single point that folks should get from the visual, and make sure eyes are drawn to that conclusion.
- Do the visuals accurately represent the numbers? Sometimes fancying up your visuals will actually muddy the facts. Many times simplifying will improve data presentation.
- Is this memorable? Engineering learning moments that can correct executives’ overconfidence and misconception. Because we’ve blogged about this challenge before: How to Teach a Know-it-All.