Working on a team is great. You have people to share responsibility with, people to bounce ideas off, and people who know exactly what you’re going through on a daily basis.
Team leaders, however, sometimes have to deal with team members who are so focused on the small day to day tasks that they lose sight of the bigger picture. They fail to see what an important part of the puzzle they are. If you have members on your team who just aren’t performing or are getting too bogged down in the small details then its time to reengage and motivate them. Use facts, figures and visuals to drive home their progress and the importance of their role individually and as a team to get the organization to where it needs to be.
The best way to ensure that everyone understands and is on the same page is to visualize all that data. Telling a story with data visualization makes a big difference. Being able to portray your data in a visual way, that is recognized easily, can be very powerful. It simply makes the data more interesting for reviewing and assessing. Humans are more likely to remember a visual than facts and figures, so why are we not communicating with images more often? Most of the time it is a result of a lack of know how, lack of time or a combination of the two. Well read on to learn how to solve both those problems!
How to visualize your data?
Identify What Data You Have
It is important to understand what data you have and what insight you want to get. You need to gather the raw data from your CRM or accounting software to understand the sales figures. It is important to write down what you want to see from the data you have. Whether it is to display your team members territories overlaid with sales figures, or to identify which product is selling the best to which demographic. There are dozens of queries that can be made clear with data visualization.
Save time with Data Visualization Software
Finding the opportunities and valuable insights buried in data is a mountainous task. An easy solution is to use our eyes more. Visualizing information, we see the distribution, patterns, and connections that matter. Luckily for managers, there are several tools out there that help you to visualize your data and save tonnes of time once you have the data and the queries you want answered!
A few of our favourites are
- Timeline JS to create beautiful timelines.
- Plotly to graph and share data online.
- Datawrapper to create various charts.
- And of course eSpatial to visualise location data.
Present it clearly
Once you’ve loaded your data into the software, asked the query and are delivered an image, it is time to ensure that what you have created is as clear and simple as possible. Do this by following some key principles of visual communication:
- Have a specific message you want to communicate. Don’t clutter one visualization with multiple messages
- Make the important data stand out! For example if you want to show sales figures for a particular area, then highlight that area.
- Maintain consistency in colors, shapes, and words used. For example if you use green to identify a team member that is performing well in one visualization, don’t use it to identify a poorly performing team member in another image, chart or graph.
- Make the data more digestible by keeping associated facts, figures and image closer together.
- Are you presenting the data or circulating it? If you’re presenting then keep it super simple as you will have the opportunity to explain it in person. If you’re circulating it, then you will have to include some more information, such as where the figures came from and what your conclusions are.
Are you ready to help your team see the bigger picture with data visualization in 2016?
For more information on data visualization and how to use it, download our eBook “Drowning in Data: Bring Insights to the surface with Data Visualization”.