As consultants and content marketers, we have designed and constructed hundreds of data visualizations. Whether that has been a pictograph or a Venn diagram, having visuals to showcase findings could make it easier for many people to understand data. To this day, there has yet to be a dashboard that every viewer thought was perfect.
Data visualization is a form of art, and with that, its value is in the eye of the beholder. Due to the limitless possibilities and variables that are involved with creating a data visualization, we have developed the INSIGHT framework as a tool for maximizing the chances a data visualization will be well-received.
This strategic framework has saved our team hundreds, if not thousands of hours of iteration, increased value for stakeholders, and led to countless business insights – now we’re sharing it with you!
Identify the Business Question – one of the most common pitfalls in data visualization is trying to answer too many questions in one view. The well known power bi system can be a good example of how to better understand data visualization with too many questions in one view. By prioritizing what the data visualization will answer, you are able to keep the view simple and make it clear to the end user what stories they should be looking for in the dashboard.
Name the KPIs – these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should all help answer the business question that the data visualization is trying to answer.
Shape the Data – in order to work with the data in a data visualization software, data should be prepared in tabular form in advance. For the most flexibility, each column header should represent a unique field, with subsequent rows representing every entry for each of those fields.
Initial Concept – get an idea documented, even if it is simply a sketch of the direction you are planning to take. By not committing too much time to the initial concept, you will have the flexibility to pivot based on stakeholder input.
Gather Feedback – ask end users what they think of your initial concept and if they believe it will meet their needs. This step helps instill some stakeholder ownership during the design process so they are more likely to support the final product.
Hone the Dashboard – this is your opportunity to incorporate stakeholder feedback and finalize the data visualization.
Tell the Story – finally, you are ready to distribute the dashboard and allow the stories in the data to begin making an impact.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing my expanded thoughts on each step of the INSIGHT framework for data visualization so please be sure to subscribe to Evolytics Analytics Tips using the form below to stay up to date on our latest posts.