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What is visualization anyway?

Could you do me a favor and close your eyes?  Now imagine you’re on a tropical island, relaxed and far away from the daily grind.  I’m pretty sure you didn’t close your eyes and see all of that in words, but rather in pictures.  Today we’re going to be exploring the many reasons why visualizations and diagrams are so powerful.

Simply put, visualization is the communication of information through images.  From the humble pie chart to product advertisements, we can take our information and data and turn them into visualizations.  This form of information transfer has become so prevalent, and you may not sit down and think about its importance or impact.  But you should, and here’s why…

Learn Faster

Science explains that there are seven different learning types and visual learners are one of them.  The thing is, we all need to be visual learners depending on the situation. How many times have you turned to one of our YouTube videos to learn how to create a flowchart? What about using an infographic to give you compact, targeted information on a complex topic? Visualizations help filter information to make them easier to digest.

We are also more likely to retain information learned via visualizations and diagrams because images are stored in long-term memory. Want your next onboarding candidate to remember as much information as possible for as long as they can? Then be sure to bring out your org charts and floor plans.

Learn Faster

Diagrams Are Universal

While one could say that English is the most widely-accepted form of communication when doing international business, we could also say that visualization is one of the most commonly used.  Why?  Visualizations such as diagrams and images transcend language and the barriers that come with intercultural communication.  Using terms that are only understood in your language can cause unnecessary misunderstandings. Don’t let your customers walk into the canteen when they wanted to go to the boardroom when you can just put up a building directory.

Keep things short n sweet

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to read a 50-page report on how a company is doing financially.  A pie chart or a bar graph will give me all of the same information faster without the onslaught of thousands of words.

Planning your next campaign with a remotely distributed team can prove to be time-consuming without visualization.  Confluence allows you to take advantage of digital collaboration tools, and helps you and your teams diagram together.  When working on a project, you could send emails or chat messages back and forth.  You could also cut out all of that fluff and create a mind map to work on your ideas together.

Visualize your processes

Many business processes are standard and repetitive.  Take the onboarding process of new employees, for example.  You have a standard process that guides their time with you from the moment they show up for their first day until they are productive members of your organization.  You don’t want to reinvent the wheel for each employee, so you document all of it in text form.  But why not just visualize that whole process by using a simple flowchart?  It will keep everything consistent, and it’s much easier to change or add to should your process change.  And, remember how we talked about avoiding misunderstandings?  The diagram will allow you to share the process with different teams, leaving less room for error.

Go forth and diagram!

Now that you know why you should be using visualizations and diagrams in your daily work how about taking a look at some of our other resources, so you know how?  Head on over to our Learning hub if you’re new to for Confluence.  You’ll be able to get to know and diagramming using step by step guides, with our video or interactive tutorials.  We also have a handy keyboard shortcut overview available for download.  Need more? Why not just contact us? We love hearing from you. Until next time, friends!