A handy data visualization guide for content marketers

Faith Ocampo Published on January 6, 2016

creative-team-looking-over-tablet-laptop-meeting

Data visualization has plenty of uses, which include collapsing big data into easily digestible online content.

Data are among the most essential raw materials fueling business organizations. However, as the amount of data being produced increases exponentially, entrepreneurs need to be able to manage and interpret data in efficient ways.

Data visualization is a friendly strategy for marketers who work with too much information—a common problem especially in the big data era. Through this process, content marketers can gather, organize, converge, and interpret intimidating bits of information.

The finished product is an easily consumable format held together by various visual cues, which make the material appealing and useful for the target audience. Examples are infographics, charts, and graphs.

Here are the steps you need to take to give your data a face and spice up your content marketing efforts.

1. Specify the question you’re trying to answer.

hair-scribbles-light-bulb

To give your visualization a clear direction, the first step is to determine the question you’re trying to answer. Position yourself as the target viewer and ask yourself, “How is this visualization relevant to me?”

Specifying the question you need to answer will give you a solid focus. By starting out with a question, you’ll be able to narrow down your objectives even further. From there, you can make decisions on how to organize your data, what must and must not be included, and how to assist readers in understanding important insights and ideas.

 

2. Know your data by heart.

business-creative-team-writing-on-postit-notes-on-window

Your data visualization simply won’t work if you don’t completely understand your data. You need to know where your data came from, how they were gathered, and most importantly, what they say.

If you find it hard to start the visualization process due to complex data sets, you can create simple charts and graphs as a first step. As you add more variables and data bits into your draft, you’ll be able to create more intricate, sophisticated, and logical visual materials.

 

3. Choose the right chart type.

female-business-executive-thinking-charts-and-graphs-on-blackboard-chalk

One of the most common reasons why some content marketing strategies fail is the disconnect between the medium and the message. The same is true for data visualization. There are a variety of chart and graph types, and each of these has a specific purpose.

For example, line graphs highlight patterns and trends, while pie charts can be biased toward percentages. Other data specialists, however, play with different formats by combining different themes or making their work more artistic.

 

4. Use visual cues to highlight important ideas.

lightbulb-in-front-of-colorful-chart

Colors, icons, text, or illustrations are some of the visual cues that can help viewers understand the insights behind your data. You can use them to direct attention to key ideas and messages, making your material memorable and easier to understand.

For data visualization samples, you may visit these sites:
•     Information is Beautiful
•     Flowing Data
•     Visually
•     Information Aesthetics
•     Visual Complexity

 

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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