As I’ve covered in past posts, it takes years of painstaking academic inquiry to gather the right data and perform the right analyses to support your evidence-based investment strategy. Then, there’s step two: Effectively communicating what you’re doing to everyday investors. As fond as I am of the written word, data visualization – those tables, charts and graphs that accompany your prose – is also essential to ensuring that investors internalize the “what” as well as the all-important “why” that will help them stay the course in turbulent times.
Data visualization is for sharing data in ways that our dominant sense — sight — can readily interpret. Or, as Edward Tufte, an early leader in data visualization, says, data visualization occurs when “clear and precise seeing becomes as one with clear and precise thinking.”
A few years ago, to learn more about data visualization, I attended a Visual Business Intelligence workshop offered by Stephen Few of Perceptual Edge. Few, an author and expert in applied data visualization, cuts to the essence of effective delivery with a three-step process: