How to effectively create data visualizations and reports?
Everyone who runs a company knows very well that the amount of data we aggregate every day is huge. They come from both own resources (e.g. CRM) and external resources (e.g. social media, affiliate networks). They will be a valuable asset for our company only if we can analyse them thoroughly and draw business conclusions from them. Unfortunately, not everyone has an analytical sense and knows how to use the data. Fortunately, new technologies and data analysis systems, such as Power BI, make our everyday work easier!
Data visualization — why is it so important?
Raw data in the form of a sequence of numbers, percentages and tables do not give a clear and easy-to-understand view of the condition of the company. Only their proper graphics visualization and presentation in the form of reports brings a number of benefits to each of the company's departments. Data visualization refers to visual cognitive processes that help to synthesize information more effectively.
The most common forms of data processing and visualization are:
For data visualization, it is worth choosing a tool that will facilitate our work and accelerate the process of data conversion even with large amounts of data. Among those most frequently used are programs such as Excel, Tableau and Power BI. Which one to choose? Excel is almost commonly known. However, if you are considering the possibilities of the other two systems, we invite you to read our blog entry — “Power BI or Tableau — business comparison of two systems for data analysis”.
How to visualize data correctly?
- Find the history in your data
So-called data storytelling is a powerful tool especially in a world that requires hard evidence. Processing raw data and telling stories with their help (e.g. development of the company's department) can attract attention. Therefore, try to find a leitmotif in your data, which will contain the main message.
- Ensure consistent visualization methods
In order for the recipient to be able to quickly compare successive information presented, stick to a few selected ways of presenting the data. Use one type of graphs. This way, the recipient will not be overwhelmed by many variables presented in a different way.
- Words also have meaning
While the most important thing in visualizing data is the effective presentation of graphs, it is also essential to adapt the headlines accordingly. For example, a simple “Sales” headline is not enough. To tell a story in your data, expand this idea – “Sales have increased but not sufficiently”. Thanks to this, every recipient will know what the presented information proves.
- Choose the right colour scheme
Use different colours to visualize period data. Remember that they should not be too bright. Too much colour palette can divert attention away from key aspects of the report and “tired” the reader's eye. Remember also about this, as usual, the audience associates colours. So, don't use red for “positive” values and green for “negative” values.
Data visualization in Microsoft Power BI
Of course, in addition to following the instructions given, it is also advisable to use the appropriate tools. One of the proven programs for data analysis and visualization is Microsoft Power BI. It allows you to:
- Aggregating data from many sources and creating clear and interactive graphs on their basis,
- Create custom visualizations to give your reports a unique look, ideally suited to the issue at hand,
- Sharing reports with all persons in the organization and constant access to company data 24 hours a day.
If effective visualization and report creation is a topic you are interested in or an issue you have some kind of difficulty with, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you develop clear and valuable reports using Power BI!