Making data digestible

Collecting data is easy

Presenting data is easy

Presenting data so people enjoy the experience is hard

I’ve started searching for examples for presenting data that:

  • Make the implications of the data intuitive
  • Are easy to grasp quickly
  • Make the data presentation interactive and/or dynamic
  • Show multiple dimensions without creating a visual mess’s Game Flow shows the scoring progress of two basketball teams over the course of the game. This chart can give you a flavor of the game (e.g. tightly contested, blow-out, back and forth) in a way that the final score or a box score cannot.

Ben Fry is an expert at visualizing data from complex systems and data sets. Here’s a visualization tool he created to “see" zip codes:

We’ve been learning how to show data in ways that allow us to identify patterns of customer behavior. Here is an example of a student proceeding through an online science course. Looking at a few hundred of these pictures allows you to identify recurring patterns.

Image © Juice Analytics

Next time you have to present a large and potentially boring wad of data to a business audience, consider creative ways to move beyond bar graphs and pie charts.