How Effective Data Visualization Can Improve Your Business

By December 12, 2019 January 2nd, 2020 Data Visualization
illustration of effective data visualization, including graphs & charts

A stunning 98% of companies use data to drive better customer experiences. But that doesn’t always mean they’re using that data — and corresponding data visualization — in an effective way. Numbers can be powerful, but only high-quality information visualization and design can help us draw meaningful conclusions from the data you collect. 

And most companies are struggling. A full 89% of companies told Experian in 2019 that they had trouble managing the data they collected. What’s more, 1 in 3 said that they just didn’t have the skills within their organization to gain any real insights.

How Effective Data Visualization and Information Design Help Business

Investing in high-quality, highly effective data visualization is worth your time. In fact, good design can significantly improve your bottom line. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why. 

1. Well-designed information visualization improves understanding

When you’re dealing with mountains of raw data in a spreadsheet, it’s hard to draw any truly meaningful conclusions. Most people would be hard-pressed to discover patterns or trends. What’s worse, it’s easy to misidentify trends in such cases. 

When your raw data is translated into graphs, charts, and maps, however, a lot changes. You can start to notice meaningful patterns. And that allows you to ask important questions. Why, for instance, are 61% of your customers located in the Southwest? Why do sales go down every September? And what should you do in response to these trends? 

Asking these types of questions is essential to the health of your business. But without clear and effective data visualizations, you just won’t know to ask these questions. That’s why they can make such a huge difference. 

2. Accurate data viz helps you build trust with customers

Some organizations opt to share the data they’ve collected publicly. Maybe they’d like to share customer satisfaction rates, or numbers on the many different uses or benefits customers see in their product. 

Whatever your reason, when you choose to share data, it can have the added benefit of making your company look more open and transparent. When companies don’t just say their product is great, but actually offer data-backed proof of that fact, audiences generally respond quite well. And that kind of sharing can build more trust between you and your audiences. 

Trust leads not only to more sales, but longer-term relationships. That’s a pretty important benefit. Just make sure that the data visualizations you’re sharing are true and accurate — otherwise, they’ll have the opposite effect. 

3. Effective data visualization helps you prove your value

We’ve said it already, but simply claiming your company is great just isn’t enough. Whether you’re talking with investors, delivering an annual report, or wooing potential customers, you need to prove that what you’re selling is worth buying. 

Data on your product and how people are using it can go a long way toward proving just that. But those aren’t the only numbers that could be useful to you. Consider launching a survey or undertaking a campaign to collect custom data on the state of your industry or sector in a more general way. This will allow you to identify opportunities you didn’t even know were out there — and even map a trajectory for the future of your business. 

You can also share the data you collect in the form of a visual ebook or whitepaper. This type of gated content could be highly useful for a lot of people. Offering that kind of value free of charge could turn leads into customers. 

When you’re collecting important business data, effective data visualization and information design isn’t an option — it’s a necessity. How can you use data to drive your company’s success?

Erin McCoy

Author Erin McCoy

Erin McCoy is director of content marketing and public relations at Killer Visual Strategies. She earned her BA in Spanish with minors in French and Russian, and holds 2 master’s degrees from the University of Washington: an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic literature. She has won nearly 2 dozen awards in photojournalism, and has dedicated those skills to boosting Killer’s brand recognition and thought leadership in visual communication. Since Erin took on her marketing/PR role, Killer has been named a member of the Inc. 5000 for 4 years in a row; has been featured in such publications as Inc., Forbes, Mashable, and the Huffington Post; and has been invited to present at such conferences as SXSW and SMX Advanced.

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