Finding the Best Way to Present Your Data

by Jul 27, 2020

Modern organizations use their data resources for many essential activities. The information contained in enterprise databases is used to drive corporate strategy and assist in making informed business decisions. Health-related organizations may use data assets to inform the public regarding issues like the pandemic with which society is currently grappling. News outlets regularly present data that reflect public opinion or statistics about current events.

Database professionals are often tasked with extracting information from their systems so it can be disseminated to other individuals. The focus may be on communicating with customers or other entities outside the organization. It can also be the case that certain internal information needs to be shared with other members of the enterprise so it can be used for decision-making purposes. Freeing the data from the confines of its database is one of the more value-added activities that DBAs perform regularly.

Consider the Available Options

When faced with presenting data in a viable format for mass consumption, you have different methods available. Sometimes the data lends itself to a specific format, but it is often the case that you can choose from among several forms of presentation that all can drive home your intended message. The specific format you use can have a tremendous bearing on the impact the data evokes in your audience.

Simply offering copious amounts of text is rarely a productive strategy. While this method can be useful when the audience is composed of experts in the field, it will not go over well with non-technical stakeholders or busy executives. You want to distill the story being told into something more accessible to thee individuals.

Here is an overview of some of the ways you can share data resources with your audience and focus their attention on the points you want to emphasize.

Charts and graphs – You can use a variety of charts and graphs to present your information in a visually engaging way. Sometimes, a simple bar or pie chart can be all that is needed to clarify the data. Take care to use color appropriately in the graph and don’t try to squeeze too much information into one chart. It may make sense to provide multiple charts that each focus on a specific data point.

Infographics – An infographic is a combination of charts, graphs, and text that form a more complete picture of your data’s story than its components. A well-crafted infographic can leave an indelible impression on its viewers beyond that which is possible with a series of charts and tables.

Visualizations – Data visualizations take the concept of charts and graphs to a new level. Using modern data modeling and visualization techniques, illustrative dashboards that can be updated with real-time information can be put in anyone’s hands. Visualizations of this type are especially helpful for conveying business intelligence to management.

Understand Your Main Audience

You need to have a good understanding of the main audience who will receive a particular data presentation. In many cases, you can choose to display your data in numerous different formats. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that selecting a style at random will successfully convey the data’s meaning. You need to tailor the data’s delivery to appeal to your viewers.

You may be required to present your data in more than one format to address the varied members of your audience. You can lean more heavily on tables and numbers when dealing with a highly-technical group of individuals who are familiar with the subject matter under review. It may be necessary to create a separate set of charts and visualizations to convey the information to non-technical members of the audience.

No matter what type of group is receiving your presentation, there are some tested tactics you can use to increase its effectiveness.

  • Using color constructively can help draw attention to the story you want to tell. Refrain from simply using the default palette of your graphic tool in favor of selecting a combination of vibrant colors for emphasis and grey for less important elements.

  • Use words judiciously when presenting data visually. Labels and legends are important but should be used to add flavor to a slide to visualization. Use of data specific titles is preferred over generic headings.

  • Lead with conclusions and findings to develop a more compelling presentation. You can fill in the details once you have captured the audience’s attention.

Use a Versatile Database Tool

Using a versatile database tool helps you keep your options open when deciding the best way to present your data. Aqua Data Studio offers database teams a versatile platform from which they can control how data resources are analyzed and presented. The tool interacts with over 30 different database solutions whether they are physical, virtual, down the hall, or in the cloud.

The familiarity that comes from using Aqua Data Studio’s unified interface to access all of their data assets enables your team to quickly replicate successful methodologies across platforms. That stunning visualization that worked for the MySQL sales database might also work to illustrate other corporate statistics. The wide variety of graphs and visualizations the tool offers makes it a valuable addition to your software toolbox. It will help you present your data in the best way possible.