How to Effectively Showcase Real Time Data

Real Time Data
Data analytics is becoming more popular, and it will only get more important from here. If you want to make a good impression with your bosses and your clients, it's important to find a way to showcase data visually and in real-time.
How can you present your real-time data in a way that’s aesthetically impressive, easy to comprehend, and both efficient and accessible for you at the same time?

The Power of Data Visualization

Data is highly valuable and highly informative, but it also tends to be complex and confusing for anyone who isn't an analyst or statistician. That's where data visualization comes into play. Using graphs, charts, and other visual elements makes information easier to process and much more intuitive even for a lay audience.
This is especially important for real-time data, since your information will be fluctuating constantly during your display. It's one thing to watch numbers flicker back and forth in real-time; it's another to see a chart change in shape or see a graph growing or shrinking.

Keys to Effective Real-Time Data Display

If you want to display your real-time data as effectively as possible, these are the strategies that can help you do it.

  • * Make use of digital signs. With digital signage software, you'll be in complete control over the displays on your digital signs. You can showcase data for your clients in a meeting, for your employees in a common area, or for your leadership in an interactive presentation. You'll choose which data points are displayed and how they're displayed, and you can rotate different images or messages to educate your audience or expose them to different topics.

  • * Know your audience. Next, while preparing your presentation, keep your audience in mind. Is this a person who is completely unfamiliar with data analytics? Do they have little to no experience reading graphs or analyzing statistics? If so, you'll need to make your visuals as intuitive and beginner-friendly as possible, focusing on small data clusters and using familiar structures like bar graphs or pie charts. Are you talking to an audience of data analytics professionals? If so, you can afford some greater sophistication in your presentation, utilizing more advanced visuals and presenting more variables or data points at once. You can also use higher-level vocabulary when talking about your data.

  • * Use the right graphs. There are many different types of graphs and charts you can use to display real-time data, but not all of them are equally effective for all applications. For example, line graphs are effective at showcasing growth over time, but they're not especially good at comparing different variables directly. Make sure you use the right graphs and charts for the right data points, to ensure nothing gets lost in translation and your communication is as streamlined as possible.

  • * Check and optimize refresh intervals. Real-time data is never perfectly accurate to the present, since it takes time to collect, process, and transfer the data. Accordingly, before displaying real-time data to someone else, check and optimize your refresh intervals; in other words, you'll want to make sure you're retrieving and updating your data as quickly as possible, and as consistently as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of allowing your data to become obsolete before your presentation is even finished.

  • * Consider your timing. Always think about your timing before making a presentation. For example, are you trying to show off how much web traffic your website is getting? If so, make sure you're showcasing data visuals from a busy period; if the website is dead when you present the display, it might reflect poorly on you or lead to inaccurate impressions about overall website performance.

  • * Test before a presentation. If you're about to make a big presentation, conduct a test. Make sure you're pulling data, that the data is accurate, and that your visualization software is working as intended. This is your chance to notice any hiccups and iron them out before they're responsible for a bad impression.

  • * Keep the weaknesses of visualization in mind. We tend to think of data visualization as purely valuable, but there are some weaknesses to keep in mind. Data visuals aren't exceptionally good at presenting or explaining outliers, and they occasionally have the tendency to oversimplify complex relationships. Acknowledge these factors and find ways to compensate for them.

With a better, more comprehensive real-time data display, you’ll be able to communicate data (and insights you derive from it) to practically any audience. Visuals alone won’t miraculously be able to convey complex ideas or educate a lay audience, but together with a solid communications strategy, you can make a big impact.