Guest blog by Michael Slender from sim-only-internet.nl
The modern online marketer has access to a large amount of unstructured data that causes chaos rather than meaningful insights. For a marketer, data is essential to find out who buys what, when it is purchased and how the target group can best be reached. It is also used as part of the content marketing strategy to get higher in Google, get more visitors to a website while contributing to the brand's branding. Data visualization is the visual way in which data is presented, making it easier for the reader to access the information.
What is data visualization anyway?
A graph, table or an infographic are examples of data visualization. Data is displayed visually so that it can be accessed more quickly. Data visualization is also called knowledge visualization or scientific visualization. Graphic design and data analysis come together in data visualization. Originally it is an interdisciplinary field that also includes knowledge theory. Today it is a widely used tool for anyone who has a story to tell in which knowledge or data plays a role.
The idea behind the visualization of data is that it tells a story. The story behind the data is more complex than the numbers in the data itself. Data visualization should not only show insight into the data but also bring the insights to the forefront. A simple table with data is no longer sufficient in 2016. Infographics, moving images, quizzes and videos are the trend. The human brain processes visual information better than text, so that you can make data much more transparent with images, graphs and design elements. With a clear display, the reader can take it in less than a glance. At a time when the average reader's attention span is becoming less and less, it is important that the reader is absorbed in the story. Data visualization is the solution. It is not only meant to convey the information clearly, but also to create more involvement.
The old trusted infographics
Visual representations of data are not new but adapt to the time. An infographic like this about mobile internet years ago it was quite unique, but not anymore. An infographic is "flat" and although it is a structured representation of data, nowadays there are more advanced techniques to display data. That does not mean that an infographic no longer works. On the contrary, infographics are still liked and shared three times more on social media than other forms of content. With the help of data visualization, this raw data is transformed into bite-sized information that can be quickly recorded. This example of the PuffPuffProject gives this well in which the relationships between different languages is displayed.
Expansion with interactive content
A shift can be seen towards animated and interactive content because marketers can use more and more techniques to release data in an organized way. This has led to an explosion of interactive content. Take this example of ConcertHotels.com that displays data about the use of voices of top artists in a structured and interactive way. With more than 78,000 Facebook shares, more than 700 listings on other websites, this is an excellent example of the success of a small amount of data.
The benefits are therefore great. It leads to more involvement and helps to build a brand if it is used in the right way. The best examples of the interactive content are not meant to achieve conversions. This interactive page from The Washington Post is a good example of this with thousands of shares and likes. With a virtual climb of Mount Everest, data is used to ensure that the reader is completely absorbed in the story.
Data is, as you can see, a powerful marketing tool to use for content marketing, but if it is not presented correctly, it is difficult for users to understand. Using the latest techniques and open source methods, a better form of data visualization is within reach for everyone. Whether you are a content marketer or a search engine expert: the question is not whether you should pay attention to data visualization, but how quickly you can prioritize it.