The largest content event in the world, the Content Marketing World Conference and Expo (#CMWorld 2017), is currently underway at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Scott Berinato, an award-winning writer, editor, and content architect, led one of the over 120 sessions at the event. His session titled, “Data Visualization and Creating ‘Good Charts’,” focused on helping attendees understand the competitive imperative for good charts. Berinato also provided a fundamental framework for understanding what makes a good chart and walked through several examples of how companies can turn ordinary charts that show data into great visuals that communicate ideas.
If they wish to succeed in their content marketing efforts, companies cannot minimize the importance of data visualization, only considering it as a “nice-to-have skill” that only a few people in their organization need. In today’s world, being able to effectively communicate through visuals is a critical skill that organizations must take seriously to: (1) help make sense of all the data they collect, and (2) help others see the risks and opportunities in that data.
Key points to remember regarding data visualization:
- Good visuals work.
- Good visuals matter.
- Organizations should invest a lot in visualization to get good data points.
- Context is the most important aspect in data visualization.
Techniques for success creating good charts and data visualization:
- Present well and be clear
- Describe an idea, not structure
- Limit color and complexity
- Present clear persuasive stories well
- See. Believe. Feel.
- Every chart is a manipulation
- Tell a story via charts
Along with being an award-winning writer, editor, and content architect, Berinato is also a self-described “dataviz geek” who relishes the challenge of finding visual solutions to communication problems. He is the author of the book, Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualizations, and currently serves as senior editor at Harvard Business Review (HBR). At HBR, Berinato has championed the use of visual communication and storytelling and has launched successful visual formats, including popular narrated infographics, on HBR.org. In addition to his work on visualization, he also writes about technology, business, science, and the future of publishing. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University.