Information is Beautiful

A musical genius, a film maker selected at age of 18 to be a TED talk host, he learned piano at the age 6 sitting in front of a laptop screen and created his own pieces, he became so inclined to the art that he thought to himself why stop here? He then picked the same finger style and learned how to play guitar and then taught himself painting and then film making and he became a multi musical master at age 16 he then thought to himself why stop here?. The thing he kept seeing , was, there is so much information out there and imagine what could you do with it, he recently played guitar alongside the same person he once looked up to and watched and learned from on his laptop screen once, this boy is Usman Riaz one of top 32 musical artist in the world selected by state of United States Department and he is only 22 years old today.

So how much information and knowledge do we produce a year or infact in a day? In 2010 we were creating as much information in two days as much the humans created from beginning of civilization and 2003.

Going a little technical ,we first created analog data, filled in our news papers and books, known to us as the age of encyclopedia, soon we had more information then what a book could ever hold, then WEB 1 was developed and these large information sets were multiplied exponentially into digital media bits and the age of encyclopedia slowly evaporated to de minimis.

The leaving Magazines and Paper days were saddening but soon the new evolved with digital media, the birth of Wikipedia took place, we all know where to go to get all the answers today, the story and lives have transformed with information and when we are in doubt today, we no longer seek our grand parents wisdom.

Usman Riaz, is a example, impact of information, which comparatively is the size of a small comet in the milky way galaxy, to imagine the size of this galaxy I will present to you a visual note.


The yellow region is total digital data available which is increased 100 times in connected I.P addresses, estimated by IDC, now if that is the case then every problem can have 10,000 predicted solution sets.

We have so much knowledge today, that its a super power bigger than all the countries combined. Back in the day, small chips inside toys, which rang songs when squeezed, those chips today are tossed in the garbage when no longer needed, back in 1900’s the Germans and US would have killed to get such a chip which can store chunks of information, so now question is how do you use this super power.

Right now you need to read the first part or step to get into this zone of this power, which is presenting the data,  most of us are scared of such a thing or masters at it, but really its not all that hard to be loved by your audience, talking about more application of this beauty but instead I am going to show you how to present this Information, I will help you with a step by step guide to use the information and make it beautiful while being incredibly informative as a speaker, first, kindly ask yourself these three question, your goals when you are representing yourself:

  1. How do they feel when you show this knowledge.
  2. What do they understand from this knowledge.
  3. What do they do with this knowledge.

Obviously here ‘they’ are your audience, who are at the receiving end of your powers.

When you talk to a person or a organization in the conversation you reach to a point where they need some help, understanding there concerns is the first step to indulging them into your state of power, directing your impulse to the three goals, understanding how would your perspective make them feel after the conversation is over and visualizing that is hard, its okay if you could not make an impact in first few times, even if you were terrible at it, problem solving is all about analyzing and understanding one step at a time.

Now your first action after the realization of the problem is Discovering the narrative, this is being done using SWOT analysis since decades, let me go through a little bit about what is this SWOT analysis:

swot-analysis Strengths, what does a individual or a organization, already do well:

1.Understanding the companies Internal attributes that enables it to sustain a competitive advantage.

2.Resources that will help them succeed.

3.Are they innovating in ways others are not.

4. Has the company developed a market leading position? Based on what?

Weaknesses, In what area is the business struggling?

1.What resources is the company lacking that inhibit its ability to succeed?

2.Has the company had a record of under performing or making strategic blunders.

3.Are they positioned in the right segments?

4.Is there a perception of the company that hampers its ability to succeed?

Opportunity, what should the organization expand in the market?

  1. Needs in the market that are not met?
  2. Are there sectors in the industry more attractive than our current focus?
  3. Are competitors utilizing tactics that the company in question is not?
  4. Merger and Acquisition option available to the company?

Threats, What are the potential disruption in the environment?

  1. Economic pressure.
  2. Increasing Competition(price wars, share gainers)
  3. Government Regulations.
  4. New technology or products that might usurp the companies core products or services.

Once you have analysed the situation through SWOT analysis, you will begin to present your concepts.

Four Techniques to build your way of words:

Say the main point first:

You all know how the company is crumbling down recently, we need to put more efforts now if we don’t, we will collapse soon, so I propose a meeting at 1 pm EST on Monday, which I would like everyone to join and should you have any doubt don’t hesitate to drop me an email. 

Give a Clear Opinion

The house had to be refurnish because of all the ill aspects of the ceiling and wet carpet, if we don’t clean now we will never be able to live here again.

Due to damaged ceiling and wet carpet, we decided to redecorate the house.

Focus on Benefits not the features.

We ave a five stage research & analysis process that is implemented at key touch-points in the life-cycle of the project.

We will give you the information you need to make your decision, at the right time, with our five stage research and analysis process.

Be Specific:

While researching about fraudulent couponing, we found that many customers are unaware that they use fake coupons everyday. Several companies have problem when the websites issue fake coupons.

While Researching about fraudulent couponing, I found that 38% of consumers are unaware that they use fake coupons. This is affecting the bottom line of many superstores, example, Wal-Mart and Target have cited that there profits would be 5% to 9% higher, respectively, if the website that issued unauthorized coupons were eliminated.

Say your main point first,Make your opinion clear, Focus on benefits not features.

Make It Personal

SLA experience and expertise, SLA is the leading nonprofit organization for innovative professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves more than 10,000 associates in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists.

Our Experience and Expertise, we are the leading nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. We serve more than 10,000 members in 75 Nations in the information profession, including corporate, academic and government information specialists.

Cut Jargon and Buzzword

We’ll use our best-of-breed resources to leverage the information available, therefore giving you the most complete data set available.

We’ll help you make the most of the resources available, so you will get a complete data set.

Use More Verbs

Through the utilization of a number of tools we are able to help you the simplification of the research and analysis process, generating greater efficient.

By using number of tools, we can help you simplify how you manage your research and analysis processes, making them more efficient.

Now lets talk about graphs.

A picture is worth a 1000 words, the fastest way of delivering your message and much needed when you are presenting.

First, minimum use of Microsoft Excel, if your client needed just an excel chart than they would not need you. There are hundreds of application for pie charts which clearly define the data onto the chart, you can use motion presentation and colors to highlight certain aspects.

Most people make mistakes while creating charts but off course you don’t realize it, I will show you some great fun ways to pitch your best presentation with just some simple changes.

Bar Charts, the easiest to understand and even easier to over complicate


Next Step is Typography, if done right, presents the information efficiently and directly.


What is the most basic aspect of designing?

Simplicity- Provide simple words and simple displays, so that the graph doesn’t have to say ‘look at me’ ‘look at me’ instead it says ‘Look at This’.


What do you do when you have number of possibilities but you don’t know how to choose, for example you have to decide the data regarding the cost of a product or the number of people present at a situation, so what do you do? Answer is a squint test. Break down the problem into all possibilities and then sort it, eliminating the less potential outcomes.


Now when you have the finite or fix number, show your mental thought process using a graph, the steps you followed to reach the goal, indeed that is the hard part, also that is the part your client has most interest in. Let me show you how do you get that part right.




Do not just put it there make use of the frame



The most catchy thing for the audience is not the words or the graph, there is something bigger than these small trigger of information. Colors



Use neutral colors , this allows your contrasting features to ‘pop’



A very powerful tool and incredibly good way to add rich information is Map.



Maps will make your clients imagination run to its limits and make them realize the true potential of your data, you can add much complected data and add context between two scenarios.


Now I would add last few things, make them your friend.

  • Use colors wisely
  • Use less zeros and more decimals.
  • take advantage of white space
  • Axis titles love them, care for them.
  • Lose the grid lines.
  • Check for font size and type.
  • BAD DATA + GOOD VISUALIZATION = BAD PRESENTATION, so always cite your sources.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *