Data Visualization: Importance and Benefits for Business
Picture this: you have been assigned the task of presenting your company’s carbon footprint to business executives, highlighting where the company is now and where it can get to with smart investment in decarbonization opportunities. The only problem is that you have been given an Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of data points and no clear picture of how to present it.
One solution to this problem is to use data visualization and dashboards, which can help you present the data in a clear and concise manner.
How Data Visualization Can Help You Make Better Business Decisions
Data visualization is the process of presenting complex data in a visual format, such as bar charts, pie charts, and tables. The goal of data visualization is to distill complex information into something that can be quickly understood by those who are reviewing it. This makes it easier for decision-makers to draw connections between different areas of their operations.
Getting To Know Your Data
Spending time getting to know your data is crucial to producing visuals that tell the story you need them to. Use tables to arrange data by year, emissions source, and location, or any other relevant breakdown. This is the first step in creating useful visualizations.
Understanding Areas Of Impact
Once your data is organized, you can use data visualization to help identify key areas of impact. If your company has multiple emissions sources, you can use data visualization to understand how big each piece of the pie is. This will help you prioritize decarbonizing the largest sources first.
Data Visualization for Effective Business Decision-Making
Understanding the relationships of your data is the first step towards empowering effective business decision-making. One of the best ways to achieve this is by creating an interactive dashboard that allows you to customize your graphs based on the information you need at any given time.
Interactive dashboards use slicers (think dynamic filters) to adjust your data visualizations dependent on what you have selected. In practice, this allows you to do things like viewing the data for a specific location to understand how the balance of emissions sources is split at that location. You can also use one slicer to adjust as many visualizations as you would like.
At Synergy, we often work with businesses that have considerably different emissions sources at each of their locations. Because of this, the top decarbonization opportunities vary for each location. The company may have certain trends overall for specific emissions sources; however, at an individual location, the trend might be very different. Visualizing this can help identify which opportunities make the most sense for each location.
Choosing Optimal Decarbonization Opportunities
One of Synergy’s areas of expertise is modeling the impact of decarbonization opportunities on a business’s total emissions. We can build dashboards like the one shown below that help you identify the best opportunities to focus on and show visually what the impact of those decisions are.
Now that you understand how you can use data visualizations to help you simplify complex data sets, you have one more tool to help you make business decisions. To recap:
Data visualizations distill complex data into easy-to-understand graphs.
Understanding your data makes decision-making easier.
Dashboards can help you identify trends using various breakdowns.
Dashboards can show which decarbonization opportunities are the right ones for your business to focus on.
You can download and explore our Sample Data Visualization Dashboard spreadsheet to get a feel for how easy it can be to understand your data.
If you would like more information about how you can use data visualization and dashboards, or are interested in having Synergy build you a custom tool, contact us – we’d love to chat!