5 Tips for Visualizations

Make your dashboards insightful.

Data visualization quickly conveys the most important information from a set of data. For example, dashboards can give business leaders a snapshot of a company at a glance. Because they are so convenient, visualizations are quickly gaining popularity.

But while data visualization companies have made creating simple dashboards easy enough for a beginner, they are not always insightful.

Here are five tips to help create meaningful dashboards:

1. Know your data. Before you can see anything meaningful, you need to understand what your data measures and how exactly it’s being presented.

2. Know your audience. Tailor your data and analysis to those using it.

3. Tell the story. Once you understand your audience and data, you can begin to find most meaningful insights. Rather than letting each point stand alone, find all meaningful points that tie together to show a well-rounded picture of the data set.

4. Edit – less is more. There will likely be insights you once thought pertinent that turn out to be less interesting to the total picture. Get rid of them. Your story should be concise.

5. Make it actionable. Visualizations should inform business decisions by the end user. For example, a sales dashboard should show sales opportunities.

After deploying dashboards, touch base with users to find possible improvements. This isn't a one-and-done process. Visualizations will need to be reworked when new measures are collected or as business changes. 

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