In our world of information overload, we’re bombarded with so much data that the critical pieces are often lost. Data visualization is the future in communication, empowering you to take the crucial information, reformat it into relevant pictures, colors, and images. Data visualization creates excitement, builds buzz, and offers an interactive format that can lead to success for your company and brand.
Pure information is not only dry, but to put it bluntly it can be quite boring. The human brain can only take in so much data before it becomes meaningless. Tapping into the creative side with inspiring visuals allows for the balance between pertinent information and entertainment (some call this “infotainment).” Data visualization is a catalyst for awareness, action, and ultimately the necessary interactive conversations that need to exist today.
The art of data visualization fuses entertainment with persuasion in a way that’s accessible and fun. accepted on the visual plane. It’s the secret weapon in a world of design that feeds off of Business Intelligence (BI).
To give you an idea of how this concept can work, here are a few examples:
OKCupid Uses Visualization to Reflect Dating Trends
Using insights and research from OKCupid (a free internet dating site), OkTrends compiled statistics and observations from the many interactions on OKCupid. In creating a visual reflection of the online dating world they explored otherwise confusing information in a clear way. Visualizations engaged millions of visitors, led to thousands of shares, and created a buzz that was so effective that it was one of the catalysts that led to the Match.com acquisition for $50 million.
OKCupid’s visual strategy blended interest with organization to lead to success.
How Search Works: A Google Interactive Visualization
Imagine the intense amount of data that Google compiles for the billions of search inquiries. If you presented this in an excel spreadsheet, it would be yawn-inducing. But Google is known for their creative marketing and their search team pooled the information and formatted it into a pleasant and simple ‘view’ via interactive data visualization.
The beauty of their “How Search Works” presentation is that it offers an easy to follow story incorporating compelling data points such as the Google index size and comparing it to the speed of search results. In this interactive picture, it doesn’t matter whether you are a consumer or a business, the content is relevant and sharable while being interesting for all brands and humans.
Infographic Series Expressing Visual Thinking by Eloqua
In the marketing automation vertical, Eloqua is one of the leading providers. Their decision to partner with the design agency JESS3 allowed them to catapult the creativity of infographics into a new visual realm. Their design of such concepts as “Blog Tree” for blog visualizations, “Content Grid” demonstrating KPI’s (key performance indicators) for digital content buying cycles, and an infographic called “History of Dreamforce” which offered their annual event history led them to become an award-winning visual thinking organization. The success of their vision and planning became apparent when they went IPO and were then acquired for $810 million.
Data Visualization Needs to Touch the Heart and Soul of the Viewer
There’s a natural tendency to over complicate and add too much into data visualizations. The rule of thumb is to keep it simple. The information needs to be blended with the visual in an organic way that touches the viewers, conveys the message, and offers a sense of truth and honesty. Avoid anything that is overly exaggerated and never try to hide any pertinent points. Use colors and creativity as the baseline and gauge the success on the effectiveness of the image.
Data visualizations can be used on a multifaceted level for conveying information to a variety of realms. From internal status to sales and marketing, clear, concise, and attractive visual images bring about an immediate sense of understanding.
Data visualization is quickly becoming the forward thinking way to communicate. It offers:
The ability to streamline information
A unique format that can be received with clarity
A way to adjust questions and generate conversations for action
But content and pretty pictures alone cannot allow us to embrace all of the information that we receive every day. That’s why data visualization is the sole source that offers the transformative blend of two worlds.
Click here for an Ultimate Guide to Data Visualization Data.
Image credit: Niels Heidenreich