With such a high level of competition in every area of graphic design and media today, data acquisition, analyzation, and dissemination through inspiring visualization designs can become the fiber that holds your competitive edge together. There is a logical flow to turning numbers and statistics into something that can help a marketing or executive team make decisions that will have the highest probability of delivering the desired outcome.
But gathering that data alone is not enough. It takes a certain level of analytical thinking in order to walk the Bridge from the obvious meaning of the data statement over to a place where true comprehension of that information can lead to intelligent decisions. Further, it takes a special kind of communicator to be able to not only understand that information for themselves but to then be able to put it into a form that can be shared with their team so that they are all moving toward one goal, in one accord.
Having the same understanding of the information is crucial for a team to move forward together. The data collected and discerned must also go even one step further in order to be communicated to current and potential customers. The person in charge of disseminating this information must be able to discern what is relevant for external communications and what is not. Not only for the purpose of maintaining trade secret but also because of the possibility of overwhelming the consumer with more information and they need in order to make the decisions we are asking them to make.
No matter the size or industry, finding a way to quickly and clearly communicate with existing and potential customers is priority one.
Data visualization design Has become the most effective method for resolving types of issues as it pays homage to the concept that a picture is worth “a thousand words.”
Today’s marketers are even further challenged by the fact that, even though some social media platforms limit their links of communication, with so many people speaking, a thousand words is rarely ever enough. is more like ten thousand words which, in this information age, is quite likely the case.
What Does Data Visualization Do?
Data visualization takes written, often complex, data and information and reformats it using graphic design elements to make it easier to understand, more engaging to interact with, and, hopefully, allow the next step that should be taken to accomplish their specific objectives more easily identifiable.
What Can we do with Insights Gained from Data Visualization Design?
Content is still king and knowledge has always been power so when decision-makers have this information, they are able to make intelligent assessments and they even have the opportunity to improve their offerings, and thus their profits, based on the information that they have.
With these key pieces of information in tow, product design and marketing strategy become more of a science to the master than a guessing game that requires a little bit of luck and a lot of trial and error.
How Can Data Viz Make a Business More Profitable?
There are three ways data design impact a brand’s bottom-line for the better:
1. By helping customers (and potentials) to better understand your brand you are giving them the opportunity to “get onboard” with what you’re doing. This means that when you interact with your target segments, it will be more sincere and they will have the more personal relationship that any person with need in order to participate in their relationship with your brand more wholeheartedly. This also fuel an increasing sense of loyalty because, now that they know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and where you came from, they will feel a stronger connection and will, thus, be less likely to break away from the relationship both short and long term.
2. Data visualization can also give you a birdseye view of not only what’s going on in your particular industry or product category, but it can also tell you a lot about your target customers priorities. In timeline form, data visualization can reveal trends that, when you’re looking at the long game, you can take advantage of. It can even give you insight on deficiencies consumers find in your product category giving you the opportunity to fulfill those needs and become a brand hero.
3. Most importantly, data visualizations have the potential to be incredible timesavers when they are designed in a way that quickly summarizes a vast amount of information. By condensing information in two digestible pieces, potentially beneficial decisions can be made more quickly and cross-discipline team members can finally be in a place where they are all speaking the same language. That alone can put one heck of a strong wind into your organization’s sail.
What can designers do to make sure that their representation and delivery of data improves understanding rather than making a more complicated?
When conceptualizing the design of data, aside from simplicity, here are some other things effective visualizations keep top-of-mind:
- The knowledge-level of the audience, to be understood, the content must speak a language they are familiar with
- Transparently stating and sticking to the point, one primary message per design piece
- Accuracy, the most important of all, fact-check and make sure ALL of your resources are above rapport. Sources should also be listed
- Identifying value and planning ahead, it should be easy to identify why this information matters and what we can/should do with it now that it is here
- Monitoring results, when initiating change based on data, tracking and validation should always be part of the formula
- Device or media, keep in mind how the design piece will be delivered and make sure all elements are visible and responsive if needed
The human mind loves images and patterns, one of the many reasons why data visualization is the best method of communicating complex information.
Done effectively and comprehensively, the big picture of big data can provide a huge advantage to organizations that are willing to put in the time and effort required to understand, interpret, experiment, and implement structural adjustments based on the conclusions this data can unveil.
Show data and visual communications summarized…
As I grow to understand the needs of my clients and work on an increasing number of business reports, data analytics, pitch decks, and presentations, I notice that developing modern ways of presenting old data formats such as standard tables, charts, and bar graphs had become an area of weakness in the entire presentation design field.
To participate in the renaissance of the field, I am creating a few brand image specific templates of data visualizations and infographics. The first of templates will be released in spring 2019 and if you like to be one of the first to see them, send me a message on the contact page or subscribe to my newsletter in the field on the right. These designs have been very carefully crafted and well thought out and are sure to be some of the most innovative, trendsetting visuals for the future of user-comprehensive data design.
Over 80% of my new work will be developed using software that allows the user to repurpose and edit the visualization as time and statistics change. Quite unlike some data visualizations that look great but, if one element needs an update, then the rest of the design needs to shift as well. This is fine for the occasional design where beauty can trump usability as a strategic directive of the brand’s marketing brief (which almost never happens), but the inability to easily add new information and have it accurately interact with existing data should in no way be the standard.
The best data visualization designs find a way to engage the audience while keeping the brand ideals and functionality of use intact. – Bridgette Bryant
As I continue to go beyond the current format and perfect processes that put the ability to modify beautiful, educational data in the hands of its users, I am certain that other designers will continue to give us visual artistry capable of creating solutions and innovating content in ways we have not yet conceived.
On that note, here are a few designs from around the globe that pair information, entertainment, and curiosity in an unforgettable way. Enjoy!
Hollywood Family Tree
from the Daily Infographic
Percentage of World Debt
The Design Process
by Noura Assaf
100 years of Family Spending in the US
from Visualizing Economics
Wars by Age, Composition, and Population
by Philip Bump of ‘The Washington Post’
Anatomy of the World’s Top-Performing CEOs