Data visualization: A critical skill for modern marketers

In the age of information, the ability to transform raw data into a compelling story is a key skill.
12 September 2018

Tell compelling stories with your data using visualization tools. Source: Shutterstock

Today, many companies are struggling with big data.

According to IBM, more than 2.5 million terabytes of data is generated every single day. As humans, this sheer volume of data being produced on a daily basis can be utterly overwhelming.

Yet, this wealth of data can unlock many opportunities for businesses, offering them a competitive advantage. Analysing big data can create new revenue streams, uncover customer insights, allow businesses to make predictions, and much more.

Data also plays a key role in marketing. In a data-driven world, marketers are finding innovative ways to unlock the power of data and present it in a visually appealing, understandable way.

This tactic is known as data visualization and has become a valuable asset to content marketing strategies.

This strategy takes data and makes it easily consumable for the audience. Humans are naturally programmed to prefer visual content, and in today’s era of information overload, visual data provides us with a bit of relief.

Understanding your data

Data visualization involves telling a story out of data, giving it a meaning and making it memorable. But in order to tell a good story out of your data, you must first understand the data you are working with and understand where it came from.

Having a clear understanding of it and being about to convey it will give you a sense of authority and credibility.

Identify your story

Once gaining a clear understanding of the hard facts, you now need to decide the narrative you wish to share with it. How are you going to structure the information in a way which tells your story most effectively?

A visual which is well-structured provides clarification, reveals trends, and highlights key findings. Your data should bring your story to life without to much effort required by the reader.

What story can you tell with your data? Source: Shutterstock

Simplicity is key

When presenting data, the key to engaging viewers is to keep it simple, only presenting the most interesting and relevant¬†facts. You don’t want to overload the viewer with too much data.

Make it as seamless as possible for your audience to understand the message you wish to convey- but make it engaging. Use compelling visuals to catch the eye while presenting fascinating facts to stimulate the mind.

Use Psychology to inform your strategy

In order to really capture the audience’s attention, it’s important to understand existing behaviors around consumer engagement and then design your project accordingly.

There’s a wealth of research on the Psychology behind consumer behavior, from which colors tends to work, to the number of words you should include in each sentence.

Understanding such trends will allow you to optimize your content in a way which makes it more engaging, understandable, and accessible to your target audience.

Data visualization tools to get you started

Now we have the basics covered, let’s move on to the tools that will actually help you create your data visual. With so many user-friendly tools available online, even marketers with a vague knowledge of data visualization can be empowered to easily create data graphics.

Infogram: A great way to turn data into a visual, memorable story is to turn it into an Infographic. And if you have little to no design experience, then this tool if great for you. Use text, charts, graphs, maps, images, and more to present your data in a way that will be sure to attract viewers.

Tableau: This sophisticated data visualization tool connects to other tools such as Excel and transforms your raw data into beautiful visuals seamlessly.

Google Charts: With this API tool you can create embeddable charts and data graphics for your website. Choose from a variety of customizable charts to best fit your data.

Piktochart: This is a simple tool that even the most inexperienced designer can use to create great graphics. Transform your data into stories with the visual impact they truly deserve.

Data visualization is a great tool for marketers to utilize in their content marketing strategy. With so much content cluttering the internet, it’s key for marketers to experiment with new methods of presenting information in order to attract attention.