We feel that data and information should be inspirational, but can appreciate that even the most well-executed, original study can fall on deaf ears if the data isn’t represented in an engaging, interesting way. Plain old facts and figures can leave people cold if they’re simply shoved under their noses or laid out in a staid, unimaginative way, so it’s up to you to develop a means of communicating your findings that doesn’t alienate your target audience.
We’ve already talked about how accuracy is an integral part of a medical research study or any data capture problem for that matter. Without accuracy your results will lack validity, and without validity, your study will be more or less redundant. However, once that accurate data has been captured, processed and analysed, it is how you communicate your findings to the world that can often make the difference between relative obscurity and more widespread exposure.
Perhaps the most obvious approach you can take when it comes to presenting your findings is to lay out the results in a graph or chart. We all know these, right? They’re the sort of things that used to bore us to tears in maths classes and science lessons back in our youth. However, the visualisation of data need never be boring, and depending on the nature of your study, the way in which you communicate your findings should only really be limited by the depth of your imagination.
Successful data visualisation is a real art-form, but don’t let practicality stand in the way of your ambition. The best data visualisations are both hugely visually engaging and simultaneously express themselves with unparalleled clarity. Take a look at this graphic from a study on how natural light effects health and happiness. Not only does the chart communicate the findings clearly, but it can’t help but draw the viewer in; the image is stimulating so the results carry more resonance. Not only that, but the designer has even managed to make the graphic tie in to the nature of the study – the study concerns how happiness is affected by sunlight, so the chart itself looks like a sunburst. It’s an incredibly effective and intelligent approach to data visualisation.
By taking the time communicate your results in an innovative and engaging way, you can ensure that your study will attract more attention and resonate more powerfully with your audience than if you were to simply express your findings in a standard pie chart or bar graph. Take a look at the Information is Beautiful Awards blog for more inspirational takes on data visualisation, and to ensure that your study is an unprecedented success in the first place, choose from one of our flexible data capture solutions