Best Practice Data Visualisation

The foundation of DV is the delivery and use of bespoke information by the end-user. Simple statement, but given the tsunami of structured and unstructured data that is collected, and flows between multiple devices and individuals and organisations, data management systems only permit a narrow view of the available data, diluting competitive advantage and value-add work practices and processes.

Analysis of user requirements is key. The analysis challenges are:

• Not all users will perceive the information in the same way
• Different types of data drive differing visualisation methods
• Providing dashboards combining powerful presentation graphics and simplistic content

You will also have to address the behavioural aspects of the end-users by

• Regular engagement and encouragement to use the DV capabilities
• Empower the end-users to leverage the DV investment
• Ensure that the dashboards accurately reflect the end-users requirements

The DV strategy should therefore include the following key steps:
  1. Establish your goals – what your end-users will see, a CEO view differs from that of a Finance Manager
  2. Use the correct data – map the underlying data types to the corresponding visual features
  3. Dashboard design – simplified content but with maximum impact
  4. User engagement – regular contact points and prompts
  5. User empowerment – action based decision making, not business performance monitoring
  6. Iterative design – continuous improvement of the dashboard design and content.