Recently, we’ve written about how just changing the way you look at a problem can offer new insights into its solution. Not only that, but looking at problems in a new way can actually lead you to faster, more accurate decisions than slogging through mountains of information and trying to solve the problem in the traditional, more analytic method.
That whitepaper got us thinking about the best data visualization tools available today, and what exactly goes into them. As we were doing some research we discovered that all of the best data visualizations and tools to create them had a few common aspects to them.
So think of this as a checklist with examples- run down this list before you make any software purchases to ensure that you’re getting the best tool out there to help you be more efficient and have even provided examples to show you what we mean.
by The VisualCrew
Here’s a fun thought experiment- let’s run down the list of earth-changing inventions, shall we? Surely we need to include discoveries like the printing press, penicillin and the electric light. But a strong case could certainly be made for the personal computer. As it stands today the machine you are reading this article on (even your smartphone) has more functionality and computing power than was available when the first moon landings occurred.
But the computer was just the beginning. By themselves they are certainly powerful tools, capable of allowing a single person to do more in less time than ever before. But we argue that it wasn’t until these computers allowed us to communicate and share our thoughts instantly over vast differences that their true potential was realized.
Strap in and start surfing because this week we’re talking about the Internet!
Usually on Fridays we gather and highlight our favorite visualizations from around the Internet.
However, much like a special press release or an extra edition of the newspaper in the wake of some big event, there will occasionally be cause to push the usual Friday frivolity to the sideline in favor of some breaking news.
In this case we wanted to share VisualCue’s highlight on our own Fox 35 news outlet!
Surely everyone out there, at some point, has had to move. Whether it’s for a new position at work, a new school or just for a change pace, packing up a lifetime’s worth of accumulation and heading out to a new place can be both an exciting and simultaneously daunting task.
Think about it. Even moving just across town can be a logistical nightmare. Items need to be lovingly packed and stored, trucks need to be ordered, blankets need to be secured to keep furniture from scratching and that’s not even counting the army of loyal friends or a handful of professional movers to help actually lift your material life from one location and put it in another. And that’s just residential.
Small wonder then that for the big moves, like those between countries or where the items being moved are more than just pants and shirts, entire teams of logistics professionals are needed to make the process as smooth as possible. These businesses exist to make large, complicated moves easier. They arrange pick up, transportation, temporary storage and eventual relocation into the new home. The best services also help the person moving with any necessary paperwork, domestic help or maintenance their new place might require. And in a process with so many steps, there is bound to be data.
If there’s anything we love at VisualCue, it’s passionate people. People with drive, determination and a cause are just more interesting to be around than people who sort of float through life.
At VisualCue, we’re passionate about a cause. We believe data should be transparent: anyone should be able to use it to make better decisions.
And what’s the biggest thing standing in the way of that cause? Confusing, outdated dashboards and spreadsheets that only a few people can understand.
Well, we were thrilled to find out that we were not the only ones interested in this cause. This week we’re spotlighting one of our favorite data visualization heroes: Cole Nussbaumer.
In a January 2006 article for the Harvard Business Review titled “Decisions Without Blinders,” authors Max Bozerman and Dolly Chugh bring out an interesting point.
While the majority of their article focuses on the concept of “bounded awareness- when cognitive blinders prevent a person from seeing, seeking, using, or sharing highly relevant, easily accessible, and readily perceivable information during the decision-making process,” they do bring out another interesting facet of the science of decision making that many might not have considered.
They write that “Even when spared a deluge of information and given sufficient time to make decisions, most individuals still fail to bring the right information into their conscious awareness at the right time.”
If you’re anything like us, you watched the Oscar presentation last Sunday. And if you’re really like us it got you thinking about what kind of data visualizations have grown up around such an amazing institution over the years.
So we went out looking, and we were not disappointed! We shouldn’t have been surprised though: of course Hollywood’s biggest night would give us some of it’s best data visualizations.
Business is made of decisions. While some have a more dramatic impact on the business all decisions, large and small, are important. That’s why discovering how to make smarter decisions is so crucial to the continued growth, or even existence, of any enterprise. Luckily, the scientific community has recognized the importance of understanding the decision-making process and has made numerous, recent discoveries that shed light on the process.