We live in an era of Big Data. Experts predict that by 2025, 175 zettabytes of data will be created and consumed. I mean whatever a zettabyte is, you got to imagine it’s HUGE, right?
But does more data actually translate to better insights?
The challenge with having large amounts of data is two-fold: 1) Distilling it down so you can focus on the most valuable data points to meet your objectives; and 2) Translating the data into digestible, meaningful insights.
Here are some tips on how you can do that:
Be creative in your analysis. Don’t take the easy way by looking at a result by week, month, or other traditional classifications – think about other intervals or categories that may be more relevant to your metric, such as category events or grouping consumers by attitudinal commonalities. Involve other team members in your analysis plan to provide different perspectives, ideas, and starting points. This is the time to use trial and error to see what pops.
Bring your data to life by telling a story. Using storytelling techniques can help make your data much easier to understand and more impactful. Start your story by getting your audience’s attention, then move into the story that your data supports. Here are some other ideas. If you think creating a story is too much work, remember that if you don’t tell the story, you leave others to come up with their own, which may not align with your insights.
Distill it down to one page. This one-page limit forces you to figure out what’s most important about what the data says. Visuals help to represent large amounts of data in a small space, especially when you selectively demonstrate the data you need to make your point. You don’t need to show everything – just the critical pieces. Be creative with your visuals – consider many forms such as charts, graphs, infographics, and dashboards. Best thing about a one-pager? They tend to have a long shelf-life because they’re accessible and quickly digestible.
Get quotes from smart people who understand the data. Create thought-leader advocates who are familiar with the data and its impact on your business. Have them talk about what it means to them and share it broadly with those who need to know.
Hire an expert. If creating storytelling visuals isn’t your strong suit, get help from someone who has this skillset. Look for a graphic designer with data visualization chops that will help maximize the impact of your data’s story.
The big takeaway here is that bigger isn’t necessarily better. More data can be a real asset but only if you can distill it down and transform it into compelling insights that’s compelling and meaningful to your stakeholders (especially those that don’t have “Research” in their job title). Need some guidance on how to do this? Please feel free to reach out.