Ultimately, data visualization is a way to communicate and educate, so before we go into our primary 8 points, it’s important to note how the brain works.
The human brain is an awesome piece of organic machinery capable of recognizing trillions of stimuli and converting all of that information into something understandable and actionable at unbelievable speeds. Studies show that visuals are processed 600,000x faster than text, and people retain 80% of what they see as opposed to 20% retention for text that is read.
That figure alone is enough to give us marketers pause. Add to the fact that the average person only reads about 20% of a webpage, and all the sudden, the importance of data visualization becomes abundantly clear. Communicating information via images makes data much easier to understand. So why don’t more people focus on improving their visual content?
Maybe they aren’t convinced yet? I would hope one look at some data visualization examples would be enough to convince someone. If not, this infographic provides some reasons for data visualization, but we’ve added a few of our own that we’ve noticed as we work with thousands of agencies.
Make sure to check out our ultimate guide to data visualization once you finish reading this post that highlights visualization’s value for marketers.
The Benefits of Data Visualization for Marketing Agencies
Agencies should always be seeking to make better sense of complex data sets to inform real real-time business decisions.
1. Data visualization drastically reduces the time it takes to understand information by using a visual display that optimizes knowledge acquisition by using the brains strongest skill set, visual learning. Have you ever sat in a meeting that lasted entirely too long as clients and team members struggled to communicate the wide-ranging data sets? Data isn’t always difficult to understand, but the major difficulty is keeping audience attention as you delve into everyone’s favorite hobby; data analytics.
2. “Data visualization gives you answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.” – Ben Shneiderman (the inventor of the tree plot). Marketing insights are incredibly valuable, and we pay into the six figures to employees based on their ability to provide your agency with insight. Data visualization, according to Shneiderman is an incredibly useful tool for marketers who want to gain a perspective that allows for a deeper insight that aids in our ability to ask the right questions.
3. Turn data analysis into a 10-minute task rather than an hour-long task. As we’ve stated earlier, visual knowledge offers a level of concision that normal text cannot obtain.
4. Increase the effectiveness of the story you’re trying to convey by turning your data points into a visual story. Studies show that visualized data has more power in convincing us than normal text. Its hard to convince a client to make certain decisions, but it gets much easier if you back up your claims with visual analytics.
5. According to Shneiderman “You risk missing serious problems in your data without visualizing that data.” Data visualization has a capacity for finding errors in data and then cleaning the data up.
As a hospital, being able to understand the patterns of treatment for a single patient and compare that with thousands of other patients to help researchers and doctors understand what works and what doesn’t work for treatment.
6. Visualization provides agencies with interactive data and multi-dimensional view, converting insights into quick actions for marketing agencies. We say this all the time, but one of the number one difficulties for marketing agencies is conveying value. Connecting your expert insights to actionable steps and demonstrating your work visually is a powerful combination for client retention and client success.
7. Data visualization offers marketers increased effectiveness in their ability to determine correlation. Correlation assists in linking how much KPIs (key performance indicators) are inter-dependent. The principal intention of this data viz is to afford a brief look at all the combinations of KPIs while highlighting the related level of correlation. This process in the past used to be pretty confusing but now no more!
8. Data visualizations allow agencies to make sense of the patterns and other business performance operations by a simple view of simultaneity.
TLDR: better decision-making, time savings, increased ROI, greater ad-hoc data analysis, faster dissemination of information, empowers the non-experts to gain insights that are normally reserved for data scientists, and increases overall retention and understanding. The value of data visualization is in its overall effect on your business value as an agency. Turn the everyday user into a data scientist by simplifying complex data into simple pieces of visual content.
It is imperative for business leaders to recognize that the human brain is unable to process data sets as a computer does. If you’re interested in learning more about data science as it relates to marketing, we invite you to read our: What is Data Visualization article for additional insights.