At TrueVoice, we refer to the important stages of true social data intelligence (as opposed to social monitoring or strategy) as the stages of understanding, visualizing, and activating the intelligence that a company collects through its social and digital platforms. In an effort to help enterprise organizations reach higher levels of context and actionability from their social data intelligence, we’re going to walk through each stage of actionable data and provide insights into how you can use each to dig up deeper, more meaningful insights from the data you already have.
In an increasingly visual culture, marketing managers and executives alike turn to images to make hard-to-understand concepts and data easier to visualize. This preference is backed by science. Infographics have a number of psychological benefits when it comes to processing data, including making data easier to scan, conceptualize, and share with others. Infographics also make it easier to capture what is most important about a concept quickly. But the dangerous mistake key stakeholders make when they create infographics is visualizing the data at hand and assuming that the image itself provides insight into the data.
The solution to this often unseen problem is to carefully evaluate the source of your data and analyze it for actual intelligence before you turn it into a visualized asset. The resulting infographic, report, or image changes the data into actual intelligence rather than stagnant data in a different form.
Action Tips for Visualizing Data
Infographics are valuable visual storytelling tools that can help bring difficult concepts to life. However, these visualizations don’t work hard enough by themselves. They simply display gathered and manipulated data, which any “Print + Report” program can deliver.
Poorly visualized data provides outputs, but not intelligence. It can show the data, but it cannot show what to do with the data; it leaves a hollow shell where insightful action should be. And the only way to fix it is to carefully address how the data is captured, understood, and visualized.
Here are four steps that can turn simple reporting into truly visualized social data intelligence:
- Remove sources of dirty data. “Dirty data” refers to data that has not been evaluated for customer sentiment, language barriers, and relevance. The most insightful data sources need to be carefully cleansed so that the visualization takes into account the most important and most viable data — not whatever happens to sift through your social data filters.
- Apply the right process. the right algorithms. Social listening and reporting is not social data intelligence. These activities represent low-level collection work that won’t sway anyone’s decision making. Instead, the data must be collected and organized using precise algorithms and processes that turn data into insights and insights into visual stories that everyone can understand. TrueVoice has a patented system to do this; none others do that we know of.
- Layer process with people. Visualization itself can’t uncover insights; human intelligence is an essential piece of the puzzle. Marketing, reputation, and research experts must represent a significant line of defense between your data and your visualization in order for the final result to communicate and point to the most insightful revelations possible.
- Visualize data with context. Context is where the potential of social data intelligence comes to life. Context goes beyond social network data to capture and integrate digital and social content, online news and public information, as well as other internal sources of data. It uses every possible data point — from customer service and CRM to customer research — to communicate the complete story. It reveals competitive advantages and surface strategies, which in turn reveal new products, audiences, and promises of the age of social data.
The next time your marketing and social department hands you a beautifully crafted infographic, look twice. Does it outline the results, or does it outline your steps forward? Does it make sense for the context of the decisions you need to make, or is it hindering your progress? Dig deeper into the visualizations and social data intelligence will deliver on those promises for your team.