By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful. ―David McCandless
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or manager of a team, you can’t afford to try to persuade or educate people using raw data alone. It’s just not an effective way to to get a point across. Instead, you need to present your data in a way that people can quickly examine and understand. You need data visualization.
The best and easiest way to understand the true power and usefulness of mapping is to look at real examples from everyday life. Believe it or not, hundreds of thousands of maps are being created each and every week by businesses, nonprofits, and media organizations in an effort to sell an idea, persuade a group of people, or tell a story.
Mapping is everywhere. Why? Because visuals are extremely powerful tools. The fact is, most people can’t look at a spreadsheet filled with hundreds of rows and columns of raw data and easily understand what it all means. Data is complex. It can’t tell stories in the same way that visuals can.
If you didn’t take advantage of the power and value of mapping in 2015, this year is the year to do it. As we’ve written before on this blog, there are a number of reasons why you should be visualizing data for your business.
We are at the beginning of a revolution that will impact every business and life on this planet.
While we live in the information age, it is vital to have a way to process all the information into something tangible and usable. Thankfully, this is where big data comes into play.
“A picture is worth 1,000 words.”
You know the phrase. It’s the belief that an idea, story, or concept can be explained or conveyed with one single image. You’ve probably heard or used it in conversation yourself more times than you could count, but have you ever thought about how it could apply to your business? Consider the following statistics shared in a blog post published last year on the power of visuals:
For the last few months we’ve been sharing our favorite news stories and articles about mapping from around the globe. We created the series back in October to celebrate our love of maps—and to highlight the fact that maps are literally all around us. They are everywhere. Why? Because maps create 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.
There’s a common misconception out there that data is boring. It’s a fair opinion to have, and here’s why: no one likes the idea of going into a meeting or presentation and being inundated with rows upon rows of spreadsheet data. Likewise, no one likes listening to someone verbally spew out statistic after statistic in a futile effort to make a point or change a point of view. Not only is it an ineffective way of presenting data and persuading someone to change their mind, it’s boring for most people to experience.
Last month you may have seen that we launched a new series where we share our favorite news stories and articles about mapping from around the globe. If you missed our edition from last month, check it out here.
As we mentioned in that first post, we created the series to celebrate our love of maps—and to highlight the fact that maps are literally all around us. They are everywhere. Why? Because maps create 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.
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’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
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.