Signs Your Data Viz Sings

I wish that every awesome data viz presentation ended with each coworker blasting a confetti popper over your head. The reality is that when your data viz sucks, you know it loud and clear. When it sings, you often can’t tell.

This post is not going to provide an anatomy diagram of award-winning visuals. Because data viz that sings can take 1,000 different formats. Great viz is not about what it looks like.

The most important part of data visualization is what happens to people after they’ve seen it.

Super nerds ask what program you used.

They are less interested in your data analysis methods, what they really wanna know is how you made your data viz. Because they think it must be some new expensive tech tool (that they might need themselves).

When you tell them it’s just PowerPoint, they gets hearts in their eyes.

Next they’ll ask you to coffee to “pick your brain.” My friend, you can seize the moment to launch a data viz revolution, just sayin.

You know your data viz sings when you start converting others to Team Data Viz.

Todd finally says something nice about you.

You know a Todd. He’s the guy at the office who obviously sees you as a threat because he ignores your very existence. The only time he addresses you is when he thinks you’ve done something wrong.

Todd is the guy who tries to appear inclusive by ONLY partnering with women but ends up claiming credit for their ideas. You know a Todd.

If Todd were to acknowledge that someone else on the team scored a point, he thinks it’s a point against him.

When the Todds of the world finally have to admit that you’re awesome, you know your data viz sings.

No one says anything at all.

Most of the time, no one comments on your graphs at all. They’ve just moved on to discussing the agenda items at hand. No one is patting you on the back for a slide deck well done. Good!

Data viz that sings goes unnoticed because it was so clear that people understood your story quickly and did exactly what they should do: Make decisions and take actions.

If you were waiting for that group high five but they’ve left you behind while they, you know, do their jobs, take it as a good sign and practice your self high five game.

This all means that creating great data viz can be lonely. Few people will be able to see your success and the hard work you put into it.

That’s why you’ve gotta get a gang. You need a crew of other data viz nerds to cheer you on and celebrate your victories.

I’ll always, always have a digital elbow bump for you. Shoot me an email and tell me about your latest win.

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