Data visualisation yields more digestible, actionable data for Sacramento Bee


These days, I am not hearing many complaints about lack of data.

What I do hear, however, is how long it takes to manipulate, translate, and analyse data.

And then the question: Is there a return on investment (ROI) considering the time and effort allotted to data applications?

Julie Baretsky, our lead senior analyst, has begun working with data visualisation software to help people see and understand the data, so appropriate actions can be taken.

We’ve taken a look at existing data files, reports, and new data sources. Some data sets we’ve used for years as spreadsheet reports. Some views we are now achieving we’ve never looked at before because the data were too large and time to manually analyse them prohibitive.

We are finding that we can bring more value, insights, and greater understanding from many data sets by running them through data visualisation software, such as Tableau.

Additional benefits from data visualisation:

  • Graphical views enable easier illustration of data relationships.

  • Web-based dashboards can be shared with end-users.

  • Interactive dashboards allow end-users to work with the data, to change the parameters of the variables illustrated.

Examples of data visualisation dashboard applications include:

  • Advertising applications:

    • Years of auto sales data visualised by dealership, by make, by share of zip code sales.

    • Daily deal site sales by category, by business, by deals purchased (See sample views below).

  • Circulation/audience applications:

    • Acquisition/retention analysis reports.

    • Customer service survey results.

  • Management insight applications:

    • Visualising sales results/trends by department, by sales rep, by products sold, by print/digital.

    • Visualising digital campaigns by rate above/below rate card.

Next, we are going to look at using Tableau to develop sales tools that assist the sales process by visualising the connection between the audience an advertiser wishes to target and the product channels that will deliver exposure to that audience.

Data visualisation enhances the value (ROI) that can be extracted from data. I highly recommend it. 

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