Using Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions Faster

Using Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions Faster

The newest top seller book The Big Picture: How to Use Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions—Faster has great content for everyone from beginners to experts in a visualizing first-person survey data.   This is the latest book from data visualization expert Steven Wexler. As more and more businesses explore the new post-pandemic world, we find companies are looking to embed data driven decision-making into their operations.  Without going into all of the astute detail of the book, we will highlight four main data visualization takeaways for all market researchers to embrace.

First, well-constructed data visualizations must identify useable insights that can and will be used to improve your organization’s business. As much as this skillset is discussed, it forms the crux of all survey-based market research.  The skill of finding insights is more important than any other and this skill comes with time, training, and practice.

Second, data visualizations should accelerate your time to action.  The time between capturing an insight and putting it into use is critical.  The faster your organization can implement feedback from a customer the faster they can move that customer (and others like them) out of detractor and into the promoter category.  Visualizations that can work with post-syntax data quickly and accurately are instrumental in driving impactful and lasting change.

Third, your data visualization should be persuasive and motivational to your intended audience.  The more the visualizations can draw urgency to both opportunities and concerns the more quickly the team will rally to drive and implement the changes and improvements.  Alternatively, the data may necessitate no action, and therefore presenting data in way that reinsures the stakeholders to maintain the status-quo serves an equally important role in continuing a successful strategy.

Fourth, your data visualizations should help drive more informed decisions more quickly.  Data visualizations should always result in decision driven behavior to change trajectory or maintain status-quo.  Too often organizations default into doing nothing. A market researcher that presents data with compelling reasons for change or no-change, decision to “go” or “no-go” will find these decisions will permeate the organization and environment.

Well-crafted data visualizations help create a culture of data driven decisions.  Well done visualizations will highlight important insights, speed up time to action, persuade people in the organization to decide, and ultimately result in more informed decisions for all stakeholders.  While there are many resources available to help improve data visualization, sticking to fundamentals presented in Wexler’s book will ensure your organization consistently makes decisions driven by data and not emotions.