The SEED approach to data visualization: strategize
It’s spring in the northern hemisphere. This time of year represents more than just warmer weather. It represents new life and new beginnings. Now, let’s consider your business for a moment. Are your profits growing like the spring flowers? Are new opportunities emerging from hibernation? If you are like most, your research agency could likely use some new ideas to engage existing customers, streamline operations, and catch the attention of new prospects. And this season of new beginnings is a perfect time to identify opportunities to improve your business.
So are you ready for an idea that will help your research agency grow like a weed? Here is it… Data Visualization. Oh yes, I know this is not a new idea. Everyone is talking about data visualization – and has been for a while! Everyone knows that visualized storytelling is the best way to ensure your clients “get it”. It’s common knowledge that powerful visualized data lead clients to take action on insights and those actions produce results making your agency the hero. So, if we already know this, what “new idea” do we have to offer in this concept? Read on!
You see, we realized that dropping words like data visualization and storytelling are easy enough but putting these concepts into practice is a whole different challenge. So we’d like to introduce you to SEED – a structured approach to implementing game-changing data visualization and storytelling in Market Research. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to explain the entire approach throughout a 4-part blog series.
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 will focus on a letter/activity in SEED. Be sure to complete the activity before moving onto the next letter/activity to ensure your success.
Today, we’ll start with “S”. The letter “S” represents “strategize” (yes, I know… such an overused word in the business world – but stay with me, you’ll be glad you did!) To complete this task, get a piece of paper and a pen. Have your brain ready and be sure to document everything.
Now, imagine the future… Your agency has implemented the best, most wonderful data visualizations in the world. These are game-changing visualizations here! Your clients love it and your business is flourishing because of your visualization strategy. Got the picture in your head? Ok! Now, begin jotting down the answers to the following questions based on your imaginary scenario.
- How are clients accessing these visualized stories? Dynamic dashboards or static PowerPoint presentations?
- What problem are you fixing for your clients with visualized stories? Better understanding? Increased engagement across the client’s business?
- What problem are you fixing in your own business? Have visualized stories opened any new opportunities or new revenue streams for your business?
- How are you using your data visualizations to improve your efficiency? Are you saving time not having to explain complex data sets to clients?
- How are your clients benefitting from data visualizations? Are they taking action and producing results more quickly?
- What insights are clearer when they are delivered visually? Can you easily provide better context visually than you would have been able to provide using alternate methods?
- What metrics are you using to measure your success?
With the answers to these questions, you now have a clear picture of what you can accomplish with data visualization.
Now, it’s time to start considering the tactics you will need to employ to achieve these desirable outcomes. Look over each question/answer again and begin planning your next steps considering questions like these.
- Do you have the right technology in place to create such a reality?
- Which staff members are best equipped to help you execute this plan?
- Does your technology vendor provide the support you need to be successful?
- Do you have the data you need to deliver highly contextualized visual insights that drive action?
- And so on…
Once you have a clear strategy and you have determined the tactics you’ll need to execute on this plan, you’ll be ready to move onto the next step! If you aren’t sure that you’ve covered all necessary elements, don’t have the resources, or just paralyzed thinking about a data visualization strategy – give us a call. We can help!
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