Create your visualization win streak

The Miami Heat have won 20 straight games. Begin to mark your place in visualization history.

What’s the secret to forging an awe-inspiring win steak?  You secure one victory at a time. So what qualifies as a “one victory” as a visualization practitioner?  Here’s my experience…

Multiple, rapid wins are significantly more memorable and impactful than one, slow-to-launch release. The challenge is that most business intelligence teams are built around the latter.  No problem, all they have to do is change 🙂

Even if the organization was ready for change, most aren’t sure what problems they are trying to fix.  The most straightforward to tackle, not necessarily the easiest, is the “tyranny of pie charts™.”  I use pie chart only as an example; fill in the blank with what you would like to change.

Does this sound familiar?  “Our executives like seeing sales as a pie chart and I can’t switch.”  What I hear is “I’m not sure how to convince them there is a better way so I’ll just stick with the pie chart.”  Help is here — but you need a bit of courage.  Change the pie chart to a bar graph and do not ask for permission.

If they love it…move on to your create your next victory!

If you get no reaction, don’t celebrate just yet.  Maybe this information isn’t important (then start fixing something else).  You MUST ask for feedback.  If they ask to reinstate the pie chart, find out why it’s so important, take a few minutes to walk through your new approach, and ask how it could be improved to more clearly communicate.

Soon you will have built an enviable win streak.

Start posting your “pie charts” here for everyone to see and inspire change.