I always get caught up in visual analytics. I dive into the data prep, plan my output goals and internally visualise my outcomes. Then, from the moment that data connection is made and I am in my creative zen; I am lost.
Producing gorgeous visualisations – Making them interactive and meaningful – Pulling then together in a dashboard or two – Maybe flowing them into a presentation to lead people through my train of thought. Awesome.
If the final outcome of all the data visualisation isn’t action, then it is all wasted.
Even those fancy KPI and executive dashboards you produce for the management or board meetings should be capable of driving action. Data driven decisions are only meaningful when they are acted upon.
Why the sudden rant. Just finished some fine work for a client. Poured my heart and soul into creating some really insightful dashboards that tell them about parts of their business they paid little attention to. I left them with half a dozen things that could save them far more time and money than they had invested in getting me along for a week.
I just know that none of those actions are going to happen. I’ll bank the fee and look forward to the next consultation but it must be how an artist feels when he sees his work bought by one of those collectors who will lock it away in a private vault and wait for the value to rise. Unheeded analytics don’t age well. Action is a dynamic thing with a short sell-by-date.
If you are producing dashboards for management and the only question you get is ‘can you show me how to make a map like that? Well, welcome to my world.
But if you are looking to get some cool analytics created that will lead to actions – call me, make my day.
Check out the house price visualisation below. Play with the filters – this one was just for fun. No action required, unless you’re in the market of course.