Data is often ugly. It is strings of characters and numbers that often don’t mean anything just looking at them. If you think about long spreadsheets of data that is entered into columns and rows, you can quickly put yourself to sleep. But in spite of this sparse aesthetic, data may be the most crucial thing any person or company ever works with. That’s why it’s important to figure out how to present data accordingly. That’s where design comes into the equation.
People who work with data will often downplay the importance of design. People who work with design will often downplay the importance of data. The perfect marriage between these two perspectives is going to be what’s most helpful to everyone up and down the food chain. Think of a few topics that would be helped by appropriate design mixed with extensive data. Job scheduling will immediately come to mind.
Graphic readouts of finances would be another one. And every type of project management software has some way of illustrating data through the use of graphical elements as well.
In every profession, there are time frames when people have to work doing specific actions. There are time frames where meetings take place. There are time frames where associated deadlines have to be met. Because of this, one of the more important aspects of any job is how well things are scheduled.
If your company is having issues with this, it might be time to try scheduling software. Schedules themselves are very data-driven. But if you want people to recognize how they all fit together, that’s where you have to figure out some way to illustrate the schedules in a visual manner that everyone can interpret.
When you look at a financial report, what do you see? Do you see a whole bunch of numbers that don’t have any relationship to reality around you? Or do you see well-designed financial readouts that indicate to you what type of decisions need to be made about the money involved in your operations?
If financial data is not interpreted and presented in a way that makes sense, then you are missing a huge opportunity to utilize the advantages of the available data.
Project Management Software
If you look at the latest project management software that’s available, you will recognize just how much emphasis is put on to the graphical presentation. Yes, it’s important to have an infrastructure in place, and all of the data inside a project should be organized in every way possible, but many times the reason that people will choose one project management software package over another is because of how it looks on the surface. That is definitely a learnable moment when it comes to product development.