Help Visualize Your Story

What we already know?

Big Data uses evidence-based decision-making in order to benefit businesses. Today, businesses are collecting every aspect of their operations for data analysis. Will the collection of data alone advise the business to a winning solution? Here, Mark Cenicola writes the standard norm for collecting data within a business

Visualize what you have

Why bother looking through excel charts and numbers that you have very little understanding of. As explained here, John Sivolka of the Harvard Business Review enforces the idea that we as human being learn better with visualization. Here he outlines the benefits to visual representation:

  • Great visualizations are efficient — they let people look at vast quantities of data quickly.
  • Visualizations can help an analyst or a group achieve more insight into the nature of a problem and discover new understanding
  • A great visualization can help create a shared view of a situation and align folks on needed actions.
  • In Sivolka’s conclusion, he states that visualization helps provide a shared understanding in a problem.

    It’s amazing that we have all these tools for complying data but how can we make sense of it all? How am I as an analyst able to make decisions that my colleagues and I can agree upon?

    Data analysis is a story

    A creative story that involves imagination? Yes- data analysis requires us to make a story of what we see. Kristian Hammond from Harvard Business Review highlights how data itself isn’t the solution, it’s part of the path to a solution. Hammond reports on the importance of establishing correct comparisons and explaining them in the form of a narrative. According to Hammond, the data is simply an instrument to help ‘write’ the story. He adds that a narrative gives context to today’s numbers when we visualize trends and patterns to make sense of it all.

    I find that Hammond emphasizes for businesses to embrace the power of computers as guides of our stories. Once we visualize all this information, we have a better understanding of our narrative. The narrative, according to Hammond, helps advise individuals and businesses make intelligent decisions.

    What’s Next?

    We analyze and present the data to others for all sorts of reasons. This unique mix of disciplines and skill sets creates a fascinating landscape of alternative approaches, from the analytical and precise to the more abstract and creatively ambitious. Analysts should provide visuals about the data that allows for a broader audience to understand. Hammond concludes the value of ‘Big Data’ is the narrative that explains, presents, and advises the business.

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