Our CEO, Ant Franklin, recently wrote about the art and science of data visualization, and finding the perfect balance for best results, for market research industry publication, MRWeb.
Our CEO, Ant Franklin, takes a look at the art and science that lies behind the best data visualizations in his new article for MRWeb. After all, while most intellectual pursuits lie in either field, data visualization straddles both: The rigorous, scientific investigation of data alongside an artful approach to uncovering the most important findings. It’s this unique blend that makes the best market research so valuable. Ant warns, however, of the risks inherent in upsetting this careful balance; outlining the ways in which researchers can seek to find a happy medium.
With so much talk of ‘big data’, we are seeing a push back toward visualization, he says: “Amidst this recalibration, we need to realize that our data visualizations are only as good as the data they represent. One may get away with the most striking of visuals for a time, but if these visualizations are not accurate or reflect business change, our credibility as insights professionals will be on the line.”
Thankfully, we are no longer constrained by rudimentary systems which limit creativity or customization. But Ant points out that, while there are plenty of software tools that can help to make data look appealing, it takes more than pretty pictures to make visualizations truly meaningful. “With beautiful, interactive, dynamic reporting that is easy to understand, use, and remember, our insights stand a better chance of influencing important decisions and creating real value,” he writes.
Meanwhile, collaboration is key. Each individual has a different experience and perspective to create relatable insights that enlighten and influence. Allowing more people to access the data to gain value out of it is a key tenant for the future of insights.
Ant summarizes by emphasizing the importance of finding the sometimes-elusive balance between substance and flair. Certainly, making data visualizations engaging, dynamic and easy-to-use is an art form – the aim of which is to encapsulate ways to support business stakeholders in their decision-making. The best storytellers - and the best data visualizations - successfully distil information, presenting it in insightful ways in which make it easier to relate.
And today, human creativity and curiosity - coupled with the speed and power of the latest solutions - give us opportunities we’ve never seen before. The art and science of it are wonders in each of their respective rights.