- Increase understanding and comprehension of data through visuals
- Make data more engaging and exciting for audiences
- Can be used to simplify complex data sets into easy-to-understand visuals
- Helps create presentations that are both informative and attractive
A key part of working in business is collating and interpreting data. This is no easy task, as it requires great skill and knowledge to ensure accurate conclusions are drawn.
However, data can be presented differently through visuals like graphs, maps, diagrams, and engaging infographics. These can be static or animated, and each provides completely different levels of engagement for the audience.
Finding the correct way to present your data can be the most challenging part of creating a presentation, as it has to be accessible to everyone in the room, or you risk confusing your audience or losing their interest.
To help you with this decision, we’ve created this helpful guide on the power of visuals so that you can be confident you’ll provide your audience with the most accessible and exciting visualization of your data to ensure you can get your message across.
Why is it Important That Data is Easy To Read?
Data visualization enables organizations to gain new insights from the data they present. With visuals, it is much easier and quicker to spot patterns and trends in large datasets than if you give that data in a raw format.
While you might be a skilled data analyst who can identify trends and patterns in raw data, not everyone will have this experience or knowledge. Certain datasets can be beneficial from an internal or external standpoint.
For example, one data set might help your company understand how to keep their remote workers motivated better, while another might showcase the new purchasing habits of their customers.
If you’re presenting data in a way that’s confusing or difficult to understand, it will be difficult for the audience to interpret and act on it. You might struggle to adequately explain and prove what you’ve seen in the data.
This is why we need to find more straightforward ways of displaying complex data sets, as it will allow everyone to understand and use it.
Types of Visuals For Presenting Data
When it comes to presenting data, there is a range of visuals that can be used, and there are no specific visuals that will be the best in all situations.
It’s essential to choose the right visuals for each situation and data set to display that data in the most accessible way possible.
Graphs & Charts
Graphs and charts are the most common type of visual used to present data. They allow for quick comparison of different elements and show changes over time.
There are many different types of graphs and charts you can use, from simple bar charts to scatter diagrams, and the customizable nature of these makes it so you can showcase that data in any way you see fit.
Heat maps are also a great way to display data. These maps use color coding to show values differences between areas or groups.
These can be a geographical map displaying things like population densities, for example, or a heat map on a data table, showing stuff like probabilities and commonalities.
Infographics are a great way to summarize data in an easy-to-understand format.
For example, you could create an infographic on how to connect your company’s email marketing, SEO, and social media successfully or how you can encourage more candidates to apply for specific roles.
Infographics can be used to quickly explain complex concepts and present information in a visually appealing way. Infographics tend to be created with clever design as the main consideration, as this will help to keep everyone’s attention on the data while perusing the attractive layout.
Maps & Diagrams
Maps and diagrams can be used to illustrate relationships between different elements. These visuals can help make complicated datasets easier to comprehend and interpret. Maps are a great way of showing a process for your data and the relevance and conditional relationships between specific datasets.
Animation & Video Content
Animation and video can be used to bring data to life. Using motion makes visuals more engaging and interactive, making them easier for the audience to understand and remember.
You’ll find this type of data presentation on informational YouTube channels in which content creators will use graphics and animation to make a presentation engaging and entertaining.
How Do You Decide What Visuals Are Best For Presenting Data?
When choosing the best visuals for presenting data, there are a few key things to consider.
Firstly, you need to think about the type of data being presented. Different types of visualizations can be better suited to different kinds of data. For example, an in-depth infographic might be the best option for discussing and comparing specific topics, such as identifying your company’s or competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
Secondly, you should consider the complexity of your data. The harder this data is to grasp for your audience, the more clarity you’ll need when visualizing things. This includes the design as well as the choice of presentation tool.
Thirdly, you should consider how you’ll display these visuals overall. Will it be on a digital presentation or on hand-outs, and will you add extra explanations to these things or keep it simple and discuss everything yourself?
Best Practices for Creating Accessible Visuals
When creating visuals for presenting data, you should follow a few best practices. Make sure that the visual is laid out and easy to understand – use labels, color coding, and other features to help make this happen, and you’ll find it much easier to get your message across to your audience.
Adding extra information to accompany your data may also be worthwhile, which your audience can read in their own time.
Secondly, ensure that all the elements within the visual are correctly labeled, as a wrong label can entirely change the overall meaning of your data set, regardless of whether it is simply incorrect.
Your labels should also be as clear as possible, as even if they are accurate if they lack clarity, they could lead people to incorrect conclusions.
Software to Help With Creating Visuals
A range of software is available to help create visuals for presenting data. Programs such as:
- Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
- Google Charts and Data Studio
- Tableau Public
You might have to pay for some of these programs, but free options are also available. However, it’s worth remembering that, generally, those that offer paid pro versions of their software tend to provide you with much better features and tools to make your visuals as impactful as possible.
Key Takeaways: Presenting Data That Can Be Understood
Data can be challenging to interpret and understand, but with the right visuals, it can become accessible to everyone.
By using graphs, charts, heat maps, infographics, animation, and other visuals, you can make complex data easier to comprehend and help your audience understand certain things, such as the benefits of using upstream marketing.
This will then allow you and your team to implement that new marketing strategy presented by your precise data.
What is the importance of presenting data?
It is essential to present specific data to your colleagues, clients, or business partners, as this is an excellent way to demonstrate certain undertakings or methodologies’ effectiveness or lack thereof. They can then use that data to change their approach to specific tasks and produce better results.
What is the most important thing in presenting data?
The clarity in your presentation is arguably the most important thing here. There is minimal point in presenting data if your audience has no clue what they’re looking at.
What is the best way to present data?
There is no “best way” to present data in general. Ideally, you should choose the best visuals for each data set and ensure that they are engaging, concise, and clear enough, so your audience understands them.
What is the best type of presentation of data?
There are many types of data presentation methods, from bar charts to graphs, and the best will always be the one that showcases your data in the most straightforward way possible.