Maps tell stories. As we’ve written on this blog before, they are an important and useful tool in simplifying complex information for the purpose of educating groups, persuading people, or understanding ideas. Maps can change popular opinion. They can illustrate never-before-seen trends in the world. Maps are visuals, and visuals are compelling. It has been said that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. It’s why television and smartphones have become daily tools for consuming information.
As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, visuals can be a pretty useful tool when it comes to telling stories and getting your point across. If you haven’t noticed already, one of our favorite visuals is the map. Why do we love maps so much? Because they give you the opportunity to present extremely complex data in a way that most people can digest and understand. Maps tell stories. They persuade. They change minds. They lead people to act. They inform.
If you want to succeed in business today, you have to take the time to collect, analyze, interpret, and act on data. You have to invest in business intelligence.
Not sure where to start? We can help. We’ve compiled a list of the top nine best business intelligence blogs on the web. Start exploring them to learn what your business data can do for you:
DOMO is a business intelligence software platform. Their blog, the Domosphere, is filled with helpful information, industry trends, actionable insight, and real stories that all relate to business intelligence. It’s a great blog to go to when you’re interesting in gaining more insight on the data you’re collecting for your business.
If you’re a business owner and you’re looking to boost growth in the final months of the year and into 2016, one of the best tactics you can implement is to create and share more maps. If you’re like a lot of other business owners, you may not be creating maps for one of the following reasons:
- You have no experience creating maps and the thought of doing so is a bit intimidating
- You can’t think of any mapping opportunities that exist for your business
- You’d like to create maps, but you don’t think you have the time needed to do it
- You just don’t see any value in creating maps
If you think you have to enroll in night classes at a community college or take an advanced MBA degree to improve your business knowledge, think again. While entrepreneurship and business classes are widely available at almost any school, many of them don’t teach you what you actually need to know. And it’s not surprising – the teachers at many of these institutions have been in the classroom for decades and understand theory more than practice.
Whether you’re thinking about launching a business in 2016 or you’re already working on growing one, you probably recognize and understand the importance and value of tools. The fact is, you can’t do it all on your own—no matter how savvy you think you might be or actually are. In order to build or grow a startup in 2016, you need to invest in tools that can help you optimize, automate, and improve every working part of your business—from sales and marketing, to employees and customers.
But here’s the problem: there are a TON of tools out there (and more being introduced everyday). So how do you know which ones to choose? How do you know which ones are a waste of time and which ones can actually help you grow your business and reach your goals?
As we’ve noted before on this blog, visuals are a powerful way to convey messages, present information, and persuade audiences. In a previous post we published titled, “6 Powerful Reasons Why Your Business Should Visualize Data,” we provided a handful of stats on the power of visuals. We think they are worth sharing again, so here they are:
- The brain can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds.
- Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour.
- We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second.
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
- Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.
In 2012 the Harvard Business Review called Data Scientist the sexiest job of the 21st century.
Obviously there are varying opinions on the definition of “sexy,” but in the wake of the data revolution, data scientists have been coming out of the woodwork and enjoying previously unheard of popularity.
Tim O’Brien once said, “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.” This applies to everything in life, especially data.
Contently reinforced this point, when it quoted Myles Harrison, saying, “Just like you wouldn’t expect an author to write a book without a plot, or an entrepreneur to launch a new venture without a business plan, you can’t expect to march blindly into creating a report or article using data without knowing what you want to say.”
With the average American being hit with around 34 gigabytes of content daily, the only way to make yours’ stick is by creating content that has substance and is backed up with objective data.
How are key stakeholders supposed to make data-driven decisions when they are only given a boatload of data and no story to easily connect the dots for them?
Sales drives your company. It’s the simple truth of the matter. Now matter how good your fulfillment is, without a sales team you’ll hit a plateau—and eventually fall off the other side of it. We need salespeople to go to bat for us, to remind customers of why we do what we do well, and to provide tangible growth for the company.
Beyond the great work we do, expansion is in the hands of a good sell. They tee up every hit that you make with a great product. But it takes more than a talented salesman to produce the kind of growth that entrepreneurs really want: it takes a strong and loyal sales team that believes in your company as much as you do.
As an entrepreneur, you know you’re going to have tough months, and days where you want to give up or just mail it in. If you have a sales team that was wooed in on the promises of a great, big successful company, they’ll be as fickle as the market.
But if you can produce a sales team that’s loyal, you’ll have fellow infantry in the trenches, and the kind of people who will stick by your side for the lows and the highs.
It can be hard to do that, and it doesn’t always come quickly. But if you follow these practical tips, you’ll find yourself with a sales team that you believe in—and that really believes in you. That’s a team that’s hard to resist.