Just as we expected, eMetrics San Francisco was full of brilliant analysts, modern marketers, and leading industry stars. The highlight of the week was without question the launch of the latest app to join the Sweetspot mobile offering, Sweetspot Wear!
While the Sweetspot team at the booth was busy switching between web, mobile, and now wearable dashboard demos, what we enjoyed the most was discussing reporting practices and seeing how the #measure industry is continuously advancing, and constantly evolving to fit the needs of the data-driven organization.
Along with engaging in conversation with eMetrics attendees at the booth, we also had the opportunity to laugh along with the whole analytics community at eMetrics Powerpoint karaoke, and to attend some very thought-provoking sessions from industry leaders like Tim Wilson, Stephane Hamel and Chris Meares.
However, it was Lea Pica who stole the show at eMetrics, with oddly enough, a presentation on how to give presentations – specifically powerpoint presentations. Her advice revolved around the obvious, yet often overlooked fact; “your slides are for your audience, not you!” Lea’s tips included ‘fighting the fluff’, ‘ditching bullet points’, ‘knowing thy stage’, and ‘creating ideas rather than just slides’, all to avoid an unfortunate ‘death by powerpoint’.
While her presentation skills and content blew us away, it was her third and final argument that truly touched base with us: maximize the absorption of you data.
Whereas Lea’s speech focused on how to create and give dynamic presentations, her data visualization best practices can be applied not only to Powerpoint deliveries, but also to printed reports or digital performance dashboards.
Following Lea’s advice we’d like to share a few simple, yet powerful guidelines to ensure that your data consumer will get the most from your data visualizations or reports:
Have you ever wondered why this option isn’t available in your Sweetspot dashboard? 3D charts tend to distort data visualizations and keep the reader from interpreting them correctly. The best plan of action is to stay clear of 3D options in your digital dashboards or PPT presentations.
By sorting data visualizations or segments logically, it is easier for the data consumer to digest what they are viewing accurately. Going beyond presentations and into dashboard design, we recommend defining your most valuable KPIs in full width panels across at the top of your dashboard and providing data visualizations below to provide further context to help your reader consume the data and understand its nuances. For more on how to logically sort your visualizations within a compelling dashboard, download a free copy of The Red Book of Dashboard Design.
If your audience has to question what they are looking at, you might be missing something… Have you labeled your segments? This little detail could make a big difference. Rather than finding insights, stakeholders may skip over your graph, or worse, take action on what is believed to be visualized.
A modern convenience of the mobile first approach to reporting is the ability to collapse segments and interact with visualizations. You must be conscious, however, that at times these dashboards must be exported as PPTs or printed. Therefore, when preparing your reports, be aware of your audience and don’t overwhelm them with too many metrics.
Lea made an excellent point: why would you allow your data visualization tool to decide what matter’s most? Color carries significance and power, as it affects both the quality and speed of data interpretation. Careful consideration should be applied when deciding which color palette is the best choice to aid in delivering an easy-to-interpret visualization.
For more information on how to design data visualization for your reporting needs, download a copy of our practical guide: Data Visualization for Digital Performance Management.
We want to thank everyone who stopped by to meet the Sweetspot team and shared their experience and expertise with us, as well as to the great presenters whose practical and visionary ideas push the marketing and analytics industry to continue to grow to fit the needs of a fast-evolving community.
We’d love to hear from you! What was your most memorable experience at eMetrics?
Not Another Dashboard.