A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Data Visualization to Get What you Want

If you are trying to show someone something and they aren’t getting it your go to move is to draw them a picture. This is because drawing it out for them helps you show exactly what you’re talking about. When the person can visualize it then they can get a clearer picture of what you mean. If you are presenting something and your boss keeps shutting you down it’s time to show him in a different way, why what you’re proposing will work.


That’s why data visualization can help you get what you want, because you are able to show exactly what you’re talking about. Data visualization allows you to show in a picture the information you have gotten from data. This means you’ve gathered, analyzed, and gotten conclusions that you need to present. You can show why your data is important and relevant in a way that’s appealing to everyone.


Why is it Effective


Data visualization helps you get what you want because your boss or the client can look at it and get exactly what you’re trying to tell him quickly. They don’t have to think very hard and there isn’t a lot of wasted time. People respond much better to a visual representation of what a person is telling them. That’s why we’re so quick to just tell someone we’ll draw them a picture. We know that will help them get it because they can see it in their mind’s eye.


You can almost go so far as to say that this type of visualization makes data a lot more fun. As long as your graphics are clear, then there is going to be a lot less confusion and there’s no reason you should have to worry about the interpretation the people you are presenting to are getting. When you are presenting data in a long winded way, people can interpret what you’re saying anyway they want, when they can see it clearly laid out then there is no disconnect between the presenter and the people being presented to.


Making it Stick


There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re really showing what you mean to and telling a story with your visual data. Icons that represent certain things and sizes are better than numbers and letters. You can compare things easily by putting them on paper to scale. Be consistent and clear, you don’t want a bunch of graphics in a cluster, it will just become confusing.


Your boss or your client has a short attention span. They can’t help it, it’s human nature. You really need to grab and hold on to their attention from presentation’s beginning to end. Visualization can help you get your point across and make the client or your boss feel comfortable that you know what you are talking about. This method will have you moving forward faster than a lengthy report or spreadsheet and is easier to put together in most cases.


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