How to Make Powerful Data Visualizations

10-26 (LENA)_ To Visualize or Not_ #1

Using big data metrics as a guide for outreach and marketing decisions is becoming the norm. With modern data visualization, we have pushed the limits of how much data we can process and therefore the number of insights we can base our strategic decisions upon. We’ve gone from simple bar charts to complex computational models that can plot thousands of different points and are able to give us insights like never before.

We know that with endless possibilities for visualizing your data and acting on your data insights, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are five tips we offer Crowdskout customers to make the most of their data. We think you’ll find them helpful too:

1. Start with good data

Before you begin drawing insights, it’s important that you lay the foundation with good, clean data. Maintaining a quality data store requires efficient data collection to maintain the integrity of your data, effective data cleaning to remove inaccurate records, and finally, fast data transformation and batch scaling to ensure information is in a form ready for analysis. Contrary to popular belief, not all data is relevant, and therefore you need to ensure the quality of the information you are analyzing before you begin visualizing your data.

2. Use the right chart, table, or graphic

Not every data visualization is created equal. In general, trends over time should be measured with line charts, comparisons should be measured with bar charts, and data that is part of a whole (e.g., percentages) should be measured with pie charts. Your data visualizations will also be far more effective if you’re viewing them in a way that makes sense to you. For example, Crowdskout’s dashboard allows you to customize your data visualization experience by combining or interchanging charts or graphs depending on your goals. As you refine your data visualizations, a good question to ask is: “Does my chart, table, or graphic clearly convey the point that I want it to communicate?” If it’s too complicated, you may need to rethink how to convey your message more succinctly.  

3. Pool your data in a centralized hub

The more data points you have to work with, the more insights you can draw from your visualizations. Creating a central data hub across business units allows for your visualizations to be a complete representation of your organization. Using a data management platform like Crowdskout allows you to aggregates records from spreadsheets, email and event marketing tools, canvassing apps, and more to create an organized, holistic store of data. Combining data also allows you to create common metrics to measure and compare team progress, visualize your organization’s entire conversion funnel, and ultimately results in faster pivots.

4. Keep it simple

The best visualizations reveal the main message at first glance. If you have a ton of different questions to analyze, it is always best to put them each in their own visualization. Remember, the point of these charts, tables, or graphics is to take highly complex and unstructured data and transform these data points into insightful takeaways. An effective dashboard or report will aggregate these simple visualizations to create a highly digestible flow much like a written document or outline.

5. Document your findings and compare trends over time

As your data changes, so will your dynamic visualizations. It’s a good idea to document insights as you discover them to understand trends over time and make data-driven and strategic decisions for your organization. This is especially important if you are measuring totals or summations of various data points. You can then use these insights to compare metrics between two periods and discover your month-over-month growth. These comparisons help you identify the long-term benefits your strategic plan is having on your organization, or discover when it’s time to course-correct.  

If you are getting started with data visualization or want to take your visualizations to the next level, consider using a CRM to make the process as seamless as possible. CRMs enable you to collect and enhance your data, take action on segmented audience groups, and of course, visualize key insights all in one place.

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Posted by Alex Tracy

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