“A picture is worth a thousand words” and “A good sketch is better than a long speech.” Both sentences are apropos to show that we very often think and comprehend data (any form of data) better as a visual as opposed to text, numbers, or other data sources. Think about it in your work life – specifically for PowerPoint presentations. Do you groan out loud when you receive a 50 slide deck where every slide is jammed pack with words? We’ve all been there and thought, “Couldn’t this have been done in 20 slides with some graphics?”
John Sviokla writing for the Harvard Business Review agrees with us. He points out in his recent article three benefits of visualization:
- “Great visualizations are efficient – they let people look at vast quantities of data quickly. “ We couldn’t agree more. Our slide example illustrates the point. Not only can you be more efficient with visualizations, you can be more compelling to your audience.
- “Visualizations can help an analyst or a group achieve more insight into the nature of a problem and discover new understanding.” A level deeper than for the masses. Now we enter the world of the business intelligence analyst using visualizations to execute on a business issue. So using visualizations beyond or behind the presentation stage, using visualization for deep analytic desk work.
- “A great visualization can help create a shared view of a situation and align folks on needed actions.” There are many places where this comes into play: executive buy-in, business unit agreement, even during the sales cycle to get prospects nodding their heads.
It’s our belief that 2010 is the year of data visualization. What’s your take on visualization versus other forms of data presentation?
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art