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MARCH 2021: 4 Reasons to Simplify Your Data Visualization

Publication date: 23 March 2021

Nowadays, all businesses collect increasingly more amounts of data. Usually, this data is presented in reports in plain numbers that sometimes don’t provide any value. Or, in contrast, it is presented in flashy, overly designed reports that require an extra amount of effort for clear understanding.

The thing about data visualization is: a report that looks good is not necessarily good. It is very easy to go wrong with reporting as people tend to stuff even the visualized reports with too much unnecessary or, in some cases, misinterpreted information. We’re talking about Information Design.

It is recommended to use standards in data visualization for a more straightforward interpretation that can “uncover” the data and other valuable information inside reports clearly and effortlessly – standards such as as the International Business Communication Standards, or IBCS® for short.

Dr. Rolf Hichert and Dr. Jürgen Faisst were troubled with the above-described question years ago. And, they came up with a comprehensive notation manual based on the rules of SUCCESS:

  • Say. Get the message across
  • Unify. Unify meanings
  • Condense. Condense information
  • Check. Quality assurance
  • Express. Correct visualization
  • Simplify. Avoid disorder
  • Structure. Structure content

By following these rules, a company will be able to create a standardized reporting system that every employee can read, interpret and understand. The SUCCESS rules point out the importance of presenting the data as precisely and concisely as possible.

That being said, here are four reasons to simplify your data visualization:

Clear messages.

Every report has a particular aim. The SUCCESS Rules allow companies to express their results and outcomes clearly. When done correctly, data visualization is the most effective way to transmit the message necessary for making a decision, as everything is transparent and recognizable at a glance.

Easily comparable information.

When following the SUCCESS approach and unifying the data and condensing the information in one place, it is much easier to recognize and compare a large quantity of data at once. This can help companies identify trends, analyze their performance, and make more precise forecasts.

Better decision making.

By simplifying a report, a company ensures that the most important data is clearly presented and underlined. Avoiding clutter in data visualization makes it possible to make better, data-driven decisions in the future.

Reduced risks.

Nothing can wreak havoc as decisions based on misinterpreted or misrepresented figures. For that reason, it is essential to base decisions on objective and uniformly presented facts. SUCCESS rules ensure that the data is presented clearly and that equal is compared with equal.

Summary

Every company using Information Design should insist on having employees adhere to communication standards. These norms can make the difference between a company’s success or failure. If multiple people are in charge of preparing reports in a company and they do not use a unified standard, the result will be a poor basis for decision-making.

A company can be successful only if it has access to accurate, correctly presented, and easily understandable data. By adhering to IBCS® and SUCCESS Rules, every business, no matter its size, will be able to make all of its reports understandable at a glance.

Many businesses are ‘running blind’ without even realizing it – sitting on mountains of unstructured data, measuring the wrong KPIs, and not visualizing insights effectively to support the work of their different departments. Don’t be one of them! HICO-Group can make your data visually meaningful and comprehensible and, as a result, help your company produce insights that matter. Let’s chat.


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