People often think data and analyzing it a tedious job. It reminds them of boring excels and countless hours spent on moving, structuring and trying to make sense of data until their eyes hurt. And even then the end result is anything but impressive. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We believe you should be able to concentrate on making an impact with your data with minimum effort.
No matter if you work with data or communication in, business / BI context, use data visualization as teaching aid, as journalist, blogger or anyone else trying reach broader audience the data is not the point, it’s what you can do with it and the impact it has.
If you’re presenting data keep the text to minimum, if it has to stand on it’s onw you may need more text, but still keep it strictly on essentials.
In following we raise few generic points we believe should be followed no matter how you use your material.
Rule number one: Have a clear goal.
Your goal always is to influence, persuade or otherwise make an impact to your audience. If not, why are you doing it to begin with? If you still need to convinse yourself, keep digging the data and start only when you’ve have clear goal and angle to your data supporting it.
Once you know what you want and have data to support it, it’s time to get everyone else behind it as well.
Rule number two: Tell a story.
One of my favority quotes, from Martin Palmer, secretary general of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, on BBC’s Beyond Belief “There is no evidence that anybody has been converted by a pie chart” and “People are converted by stories, by narrative, by emotion, by an appeal to the heart.”
To make influence and persuade people towards your goal you need to tell a story.
What was the revelation to yourself that convinced you? That’s what you should be able to convey to your audience.
Rule number three: Pick few clear points.
You’ve probably gone through fair number of steps before ending to where you are now. Resist the urge to tell it all to your audience, but think of what really is the key. Pick 2-4 main points and concentrate on them.
Make sure your data points align with your story and builds up supporting it.
Don’t clutter and cram everything you can think of in your material all you will do is confuse and alienate your audience. Less is more.
Rule number four: Use relevant and effective visuals.
To make a connection and raise emotion you can, and should, use pictures and other graphical elements. But don’t get fancy just for sake of looking cool, make sure your visuals support and align with your message.
Contextually relevant visuals help driving your point through and increase retention of your message. BUT, if you use out of context visuals it will only draw unnecessary attention and confuse people, which will distract them from your message and harm your cause.
Same applies with charts, don’t do fancy at the cost of message and readability.
Rule number five: Be bold.
Especially if your goal is to get message spreading be bold and don’t avoid conflict and controversy too much. If whatever you created spurs discussion it has chance to spread.
Here’s a simple infograph into which I did based on these principles. (Currently you can use Wickeddata.online to build the charts for you raw data and we are targeting to developing our tool so that by the end of the year you can create this. Sign in to receive updates as we move ahead.)
What this should do:
1. You get the get the point and goal fairly quick.
2. It should arise some kind of emotion in you, likely a bit controversial one, it may even rub you the wrong way. But if you think about it a while it’s not really about that girl, she didn’t spend all that money and made that princess thing happen.
3. Hopefully it will linger and come back to you one day when you’re making decisions of your own.
I believe power of the data is in what you make of it, not the data itself. Find what’s truly interesting to your audience and present it in a meaningful and emotionally appealing way, you know your audience and what they respond to. We’re here to make it easier for you.
Also stay tuned for our indiegogo campaing for building the infographics capabilities at accelerated rate, there will special offers for our registered users, sign in now.