Don’t Be Boring With Your Data!
Charts, graphs and reports are not an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon meeting. They are the death blow to a PowerPoint presentation. They are flat, boring, repetitive, and disengaging.
The problem is that people do not care about data. Unless you provide a reason for them to care. They key is the connection.
Stories are the most powerful form of persuasion. They communicate emotion, logic and develop credibility by the presentation. Data does not have to be boring. In this age of analytics, data visualization and graphical tools, data can be presented as a vibrant cornerstone of your overall presentation.
5 Elements to Communicate Compelling Data:
1. Segmentation: Data presentation works best when it is about a specific group performing or reacting to a specific action.
The smaller the segment, the more detailed you can be about that specific group of people. The bigger the segment, the less information you can derive about them. Keep the group small, yet large enough to make an impact. Details about that segment enable a connection to be made about where they came from, what they were looking, what they saw and how they reacted. Behavior is much easier to interpret among a small group of users with similar experiences.
2. Event: The event provides the content to the purpose of the action or reaction.
What is the primary factor among the segment? Is it behavior, source, or action? Identify the primary factor that can be acted upon and tested. If there is no primary factor, then you are presenting multiple base factors, which will not be clear. Leverage the primary factor into your presentation as the pivot point of this segment.
3. Correlation: Your interpretation of the causal factors of the action to the reaction within the specific group.
This is where you can be creative in your storytelling. Data may not provide this information, you have to think in terms of human factors that drive the specific behavior. Is the reader engaged or disengaged? Is this an action made by someone who is researching a decision, or making a quick search in the middle of another activity? How would the user’s external circumstances affect their engagement?
4. Repeatability: Can this be repeated, improved, tested? If so, what is expected, proven, or improved by the test.
How often is this behavior measured? Is it a consistent segment of your traffic. Are your users telling you something, or asking for more information through their actions? What behavior is repeated that can be an indicator of missing information or absent “next steps?”
5. Predictability: Once this action can be predicted based on the causal factors, what is the result? What can you predict based on this information?
If an event is repeatable and predictable, then it can become profitable! Predictability creates opportunities for testing multiple aspects of the same problem. It can also provide a clear testing path to continue to grow this segment, this action or correlation into a powerful, predictable stream of leads, sales and revenue.