Whenever we perform a data audit for our clients, we include what’s called a data asset flowchart in our assessment. That’s just a fancy term for an image or graphic that visually represents your data.
When data simply sits in storage, either in your filing cabinet, in your computer, or on the Cloud, it remains disconnected from those who need it most. By creating a visual form of your data, whether in a flow chart, graph, or infographic, you empower those who work with the data to better understand the why behind data capture at your company.
Data visualization has incredible benefits if you want to make your data work for you in the real world.
- Instantly communicates data flow to the viewer – it’s much faster than writing (or reading) a 5-page report!
- Helps people connect with the data in a meaningful way
- Ensures that everyone on your team is on the same page and is working from the same informational foundation
- Guarantees the integrity of your data over time
Wait a second – how can a flow chart guarantee the quality and integrity of your data?
Simple. A flow chart is a snapshot of the why behind your data. It not only shows what’s being collected, where it’s coming from, and how it’s being used; visual data reveals why the data is being collected in the first place. Individuals and teams with a clear understanding of why the data is being collected will be much more engaged in doing it correctly.
If a sergeant tells a private, “Go dig a hole!”, the private is likely to dig the hole as fast as he or she can in order to be finished with the task. If that same sergeant orders “Go dig a hole, because we’re about to be attacked and it will serve as your foxhole!”, the depth and quality of that hole will be much, much better.
Besides swiftly communicating the what and the why behind your data, a flowchart or graphic can serve as a visual training manual for new or substitute employees. If a key data person is out sick or abruptly leaves the company, others will be able to utilize data without making major mistakes or wasting hours of time scratching their heads, wondering “Why are we doing this, anyway?”
Food for Thought: Roasted Eggplant Spread
If you’re looking for a new dip or spread that is packed with flavor and not loaded with calories like mayo and cheese-based spreads can be, try this Roasted Eggplant Spread from Ina Garten. Roast the veggies, toss them in your food processor for a few pulses, and serve warm. It is so simple, yet so visually appealing that you don’t even miss the mayo or cheese. The colorful veggies perfectly offset a side of crunchy pita chips and a bunch of juicy red grapes. After all, like visual data, the visual experience of food is just as important as the flavor!
This roasted eggplant spread will make your brains fall out!
Creating visual data is a fast, easy way to educate your team as to the most important aspects of your data, including the why behind your data collection.
If you’d like to see a visual flow chart of your data, or want to know how to organize your data so it’s flowchart-ready, contact Bonnie at (312) 463-1050 or by clicking here now.