Every business has a story to tell and these days that story usually involves data. But does this data alone answers all the business questions? NO.
We need to draw meaningful conclusions from the data and present it in a way that everyone will understand in one go. And delivering an analytical result that is easy to understand becomes the key for everyone, and visualization is the tool to reach this goal.
Telling a good story is always the first thing to think before doing the visualization. No one will be interested in the visualization with unclear and boring graphs. It’s important to determine the target audience before making the visualizations because the deliverable can be different for the different groups. Moreover, the visualization needs lots of time to conceive a good story using multiple and different techniques.
I follow these simple yet impactful rules to make visualization a success.
1. Know and Understand your User Need
Research your target audience. Learn what they want and need. Based on that information, determine what is the most important data to use in the dashboard.
2. Start Designing With What Data You Have
Instead of answering all the questions, answer the most important one(s) with the data you have. Highlight what you don’t have, to make it clear to your audience and add context where you can.
3. Use the Seven-Second Rule
How can you do this?
Keep in mind that a user will be willing to spend 7 seconds to find the answers they need.
Does your dashboard provide this?
If it doesn’t, you need to do changes in your process.
4. Give Emphasis on Important Information
Understand what information is important for your user and try to answer those questions first instead of directly showing data in charts. Even if the data seems obvious to you, it can still appear strange to the user. Therefore, provide comparison values and add context everywhere.
5. Do Work on Aesthetics
When you finish with the data and hierarchy of it, it’s time to move onto the dashboard’s aesthetics. Put all your creativity in it. Use good combinations of colours and pick charts that will suit your dashboard.
A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives, arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.