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The SEED approach to data visualization: educate

The SEED Approach to Data Visualization: Educate

In weeks gone by, we introduce you to SEED – a structured approach to implementing game-changing data visualization and storytelling in Market Research. Over a few weeks, our 4-part blog series explains the end-to-end approach. This is post number 3. If you’ve missed the first couple of posts in this series, be sure to go back and review them so you will understand the entire process.  

The SEED approach is a challenge (you have tasks to complete!), and in the end, what you create will be a guide to building your own data visualization strategy. Each blog post focuses on a letter/activity in SEED. Be sure to complete the exercise before moving on to the next letter/activity to ensure your success.

Now for week 3, where we’re focusing on the second letter “E” for educate, specifically educating your clients and stakeholders on the insights, you uncovered in that last step.

Before we begin discussing how to educate your stakeholders, let’s talk about why this is important. Remember back in the “good old days,” we’d do all the research, analyze the data, present the numbers to our clients, then walk away satisfied with our performance? Unfortunately, those weren’t the good old days. Clients didn’t get it. The numbers, the math – it’s a different language, challenging for many people to decipher, let alone act on. Today, researchers’ success depends on clients understanding the insights and taking action. But how can we guarantee they will understand and take action?

Simple! We educate them using strategies teachers in schools around the world rely on. Today, teachers know different people learn in different ways. Approximately 65% of the population are visual learners. They need images to understand. So let’s give it to them. I’m talking about data visualization!

At this point, you may be thinking, ‘this is too much. I am not artistic and cannot build visuals.’ But, with the right technology, one that’s easy to use, and a team that can guide you every step of the way – you can! Best of all, you will save time and maximize your efficiency, all while making your clients fall head-over-heels in love with your agency. So let’s get started on today’s task.

Before we can visualize anything, we need to know what we’re trying to visualize. In the last SEED step (Explore), you will have uncovered insights. Still, we don’t want just to drop a series of out-of-context insights on clients. No, we want to tell a story with the insights, provide context, and empower the client to do something with the insights.

So your challenge for today is to start by writing the story. Storytelling with insights is both art and science. The first step is to learn how to tell a good story with your insights. Put visualizations aside for a moment and create a draft or an outline to establish what you will include, what order the story will be told in, and how to story will flow from insight to insight. Once you have this draft or outline, you are ready to create the story with data visualizations.     

As usual, if you aren’t sure that you’ve gotten it right or don’t have the resources – give us a call. We can help!

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