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Tuesday / January 25.
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Communicating Data In Visual Manner


There is much enthusiasm in organizations today about Analytics and Big Data. However, unless decision makers understand analytics and its implications, they may not change their behaviour and adopt analytical approaches while making decisions. Communicating data and maximizing impact is about supplying the right audience with the right amount of data in the right format.

The essence of analytical communication is describing the problem and the story behind it, the model, the data employed, and the relationships among the variables in the analysis. When the relationships among variables are identified, the meaning of the relationships should be interpreted, stated, and presented relevant to the problem. The clearer the results presentation, the more likely that the quantitative analysis will lead to decisions and actions which are, after all, usually the point of doing the analysis in the first place.

There is a pressing need for more businesspeople who can think quantitatively and make decisions based on data and analysis, and businesspeople who can do so will become increasingly valuable.


Be direct

Visualization should be a flag when a team is running behind its goals, alerting a manager to take action to remedy the situation.


Be relevant

Displays should be customized for the teams sitting around them saving valuable time in getting the right resources to the right place.


Be simple

Simple displays using data in this way can imprint important messages to staff and pull teams together.


Be helpful

Directing employees to a spreadsheet on a shared drive to see performance results distracts them from their work. Creatively displaying data in real time and with effective visualization is the most efficient internal method of communication.


Among the more effective analysts are those who can tell a story with data. Regardless of the details of the analysis method and the means of getting it across, the elements of good analytical stories are similar. They have a strong narrative, typically driven by the business problem or objective.