How can you present your data in a digestible format? In this video, Joshua Rischin provides a few ways that you can present data to make your insights known.
- So what is all this data telling me? There's eight powerful words you hope to never hear from a client. Generally speaking, consumers of business intelligence, that is, your clients, don't want to have to wade through thousands of rows of data, even if the insights are in there somewhere. After all, they are paying you to take this pain away for them. You might have spent months sourcing and analyzing data and have identified interesting observations about your client's business. But let me tell you something, all your hard work will go to waste if you're unable to effectively present your findings.
I consider this to be the fun part of business intelligence. And one thing I can say for sure is that clients want answers, not more questions. They want results to be presented in a way that is easy to understand and in a way that draws them towards the things that tell them something about their organization that they didn't already know. Now, remember, business intelligence is all about providing insights. And whilst this almost certainly means we need data, data is not the final product that should be presented.
Trust me, I've tried. Put yourself in your client's shoes, as you can almost guarantee that when you present an interesting observation to them that they will ask you questions such as why is that number so high, or so low? Or can you show us the data that sits underneath a graph? And if you put a graph in front of them, they'll almost certainly ask you to apply various filters to the information. Let's look at an example for an ecommerce client. Say we've identified a trend of increasing sales for leather belts more so than the average across the rest of the business.
Then some kind of trend analysis would be the most effective way of presenting this information. Or if you're considering plotting the geographical distribution of leather belt sales, why not use a heat map? For tracking the conversion rate of page visits to the sale of leather belts, then a funnel chart is what I'd use. Okay, this is a good time to turn our attention to data visualization tools. Now, you might be wondering what this means. Well, we're essentially taking data and making it look pretty.
After all, a picture speaks a thousand words, so let's make every word count. Some BI tools have more features than others, but the ones I like to use are Tableau, Excel's Power BI, and Cognos. Now, the last time that I searched online, there were literally thousands of data visualization products around, so I suggest you take the time to explore what's available. If you can effectively present your findings, your clients will know exactly what the data is telling them and you will empower them to make critical business decisions.
- Determine the essentials of business needs.
- Recognize the fundamentals in reviewing source data.
- Define date granularity.
- Identify the importance of data relevance.
- Break down the meaning behind data-driven insights.