Is anyone even listening to you? When you’re talking to your team, do you have their attention, or are they working on other things or staring at their phone? Maybe they’re already ahead of you, reading the screen and mentally on to other points before you even get there.
65% of the population are visual learners, but we are still presenting data in numbers and rows. This is where data visualization comes in. Think charts, graphs, or even infographics. It’s a way for teams to see patterns in data quickly. These tools can help you tell your customer’s stories, understand what products you need, or even predict your volume of sales.
Data visualization analytics is an excellent way to dive deep into what’s working with your business and what’s not, allowing you to make data-driven decisions. These analytics are crucial to your business’s success. Often, just visualizing data this way can get your team to generate new ideas. That’s why you must have data visualization tools to help you keep everyone’s attention without anyone getting bored or distracted. However, even when using the best data visualization software, there are best practices to ensure the vital information you’re sharing stays in everyone’s mind long after the meeting or presentation.
Data Visualization Best Practices
It’s been said that pictures are easier to remember than words. That’s why they are so vital when communicating important information.
Here are ten best practices to keep in mind when you’re giving your next data visualization presentation:
- Keep it specific to your audience. Don’t go down any side tangents unrelated or not valuable to the topic, your customers, or your team.
- Choose the best charts and graphs for the message you are trying to convey. Ensure the chart or graph you use gives the information you are trying to share. If it seems confusing, find another chart or graph, so the message is clear.
- Keep it organized. Make sure there is a flow in how the data is shown. Don’t bounce back and forth between topics.
- Provide context. How was the information collected? How does it back up the conclusion you are making?
- Use color. Black and white are boring. Color makes the information you are sharing more engaging. When presenting to clients, maybe even consider a color scheme similar to their own that they use in their logos.
- Share your “why.” Why are you sharing this information with them? What do you hope they do with this information? Make sure you are clear in your expectations to ensure you see the desired results down the road.
- Make sure it’s accessible to everyone. Is there someone you are presenting to who is color-blind or visually impaired in some other way? If so, it’s worth the extra time to ensure the information you share is accessible to everyone.
- Keep it simple yet engaging. There’s no need for a ton of fancy, moving graphics. Pullouts here and there can be nice, but don’t try to turn your presentation into a graphics movie. Share the information cleanly and straightforwardly while keeping it engaging. The more on target it is to your customers or employees’ needs, the more engaged they will be.
- Make sure everyone understands the data being presented. Make sure everyone is following and no one has questions. If something doesn’t make sense to someone, it could help you learn how to make the information clearer in future presentations. Maybe it signals that you’re not using the right charts or graphs. Learn from it.
- Use text sparing but intentionally. Don’t fill the screen with words. The whole point is to rely on pictures to display the information. Only use the amount of text that you need. Let your charts and graphs convey the message.
Taking Your Data Visualization from Decent to Memorable
There are a couple of other small details that can significantly impact your data visualization displays. While these might seem like minor details, they can have a lasting effect on what your team or client remembers once the presentation is over.
- Place the essential information on the page either at the top left corner or centered at the top. This is where people’s eyes are drawn.
- Limit the number of charts on the screen. It’s best to stick to no more than three. Otherwise, the data can feel overwhelming.
Preferred Strategies has the tools to help you organize, interpret, and trust your data. This can ensure your next data visualization presentation delivers on your expectations. Data-driven organizations have been trusting us with their data to help their business grow, and we can help you too.