Stories are the crux of effective communication. According to a Stanford University study, nearly two-thirds of people remember a story that’s part of a presentation. The study also found that speakers who merely present facts and figures only achieve a 5% recall rate among their audience. When your customers deliver analytics and reporting, the data visualization experience should be a memorable one.
Where do you go to get the latest on a breaking media story? Using static reports is like checking last week’s newspaper for an update. Anyone with some sense would head to Twitter or a reputable news source for a live feed. It’s the same with your analytics. Business environments are shifting so rapidly that disconnected analytics will only serve to present an inaccurate view of the past. Your customers and their users need real-time data to tell an engaging, flexible, and accurate story to drive impactful business results.
To tell a unique, memorable story your end-users need rich, real-time data insights to drive that messaging home. Raw data can be difficult to comprehend or interpret when numbers lack meaningful insights for business users. Embedded analytics offers users real-time, contextual analytics within their standard workflows to transform raw numbers into easily comprehensible and actionable business insights. Without embedded analytics your users will lack the context behind their raw data to properly explain the story and answer key stakeholder questions on the fly.
Just a Story, or The Truth?
Trust is a critical currency in modern data analytics. To have a positive impact, users need to view their analytics as a single source of truth, not a vision of the past. We’ve discussed how quickly the market is moving, and your customers and their end-users need to be certain they are looking at the latest numbers to engage fully with your analytics story. Without direct access to source data, users will be forced to make decisions with outdated information, potentially leading to negative business outcomes, which will significantly impact their future trust.
With real-time data connectivity to all relevant data sources, your customers will be armed with the latest information and the confidence to answer any investigative questions surrounding their analytics. This saves data teams a huge amount of time and effort by removing the need to double check their results and enabling their end-users to dive deeper behind the numbers and answer their own questions.
A Flexible Story Engages All Audiences
Organizations offering a tailored line of business applications often fail to achieve the flexibility required to meet their users’ specific data needs and demands. Some find it hard to integrate reporting functionality or to enhance pre-existing functionality (e.g., better drill down, more data visualizations, self-service capabilities, etc.) because BI and analytics are not their application’s focus. This leaves non-technical users without the tools to easily access deeper data insights.
Flashy, static dashboards or reports might allow users to tell one version of their analytics story. But as you well know, not everyone’s reaction to a story will be the same. Each stakeholder will have their own interpretation and ensuing questions. Your users need access to real-time data, within an intuitive environment to create flexible analytics that can pivot to tell a story that suits each different audience.
Your goal is providing users with timely insights into their workflow, fostering a data-driven culture that stimulates analytical thinking (to better create and comprehend insightful storytelling!). In-context analytics empowers users to make informed decisions quickly, using the information available in the moment (real-time) or visible on the current screen.
A rich and highly customizable embedded analytics experience, connected to real-time data, will give you the tools you need to create the custom dashboards and reports required by your users. A flexible solution also allows you to provide any user experience, offering intuitive drag and drop functionality for non-technical users.
How Raw Data, Visualizations, and Data Storytelling Work Together
Imagine the following three scenarios, all based around the same core information, where only one of the team members uses real-time visualization to its full potential:
Too vague: Bill compiles a set of historical sales figures spanning the past two years, summarizes it by month, and provides breakdowns for each of the three product lines that the company sells. The resulting report is rich with numerical information, arrayed in rows and columns, with monthly subtotals and grand totals at the bottom of the page. A few of the number-crunchers in the audience dig into the details, but the point (if there is one) is lost on most readers.
Where’s the ‘why’?: Jane takes the same information and creates a series of graphs that display sales trends for each of the company’s various product lines using rich, full-color graphics. It’s an impressive report, providing a far more visceral experience of what’s been happening with the company’s sales revenue. Jane’s audience understands her presentation, but she is unable to answer their questions during the meeting, due to the static nature of her report. She follows up a few days after the meeting, but by that point, the answers are so out of date her audience can’t do anything with the information.
Hits the mark: Patrick takes Jane’s idea one step further, graphically displaying historical sales figures, then adding trendlines, superimposed with promotional expenses for the same period. He turns it into a series of graphics, with narrative content to point out the peaks and troughs in sales revenue. Patrick explains the correlation between promotional activities and the ensuing uptick in sales orders. He also explains that other key factors (such as the number of salespeople on staff) were relatively constant throughout the past two years. He fields some tricky questions, but is able to use real-time data access to drill down into the relevant numbers to seek answers in the moment.
Patrick’s audience walks away with a clear understanding of what happened, but perhaps even more importantly, they understand why it happened. Patrick has mastered the art of data storytelling. Thankfully, he used Logi Symphony to punch real-time data visualization into his reporting.
What Logi Symphony’s Real-Time Visualization Delivers
Logi Symphony’s drag-and-drop design interface helps users configure and display tables, charts, maps, and other visualizations that make understanding information simpler while supporting faster, smarter decision-making. Logi Symphony offers your customers unprecedented variety and flexibility in real-time data visualization options.
Go here to see if Logi Symphony is the right way to bring your data to life through customizable data visualizations.