Wasting too much time trying to create appealing data presentations
As VP of Data & Analytics for Cygnal, Matt Hubbard knows the value of good data presentation. And so do his clients: in recent years, the standards for visualizations in the data industry have gotten much higher, he says.
“The industry is moving towards telling stories with data, making it more accessible, more understandable,” Matt explains. “You need to make it come to life, so it’s not just a percentage on a PDF.”
Matt needed to create visual presentations so that his clients—political candidates and CEOs, decision makers who didn’t necessarily work with data every day—could understand and interact with their data at a glance.
We had some competitors that were producing presentations out of SPSS that were extremely ugly. Sending those out to clients looked horrible, and that just wasn’t the brand presentation we wanted.
As a workaround, Matt and his team tried using PowerPoint and retrofitting macros to produce the different kinds of tables they wanted to show. But that solution was extremely time-consuming and tedious to create and update, and Cygnal didn’t have the resources or people-power to do that for all of their clients. This also didn’t solve the problem of interactivity.
“We wanted the ability to visualize summary results of a survey question, and the ability for those questions to be explored with crosstabs or filters,” he explains. “Say for instance you’re asking about a favorite car brand. We wanted to show the overall results, but also by sex or age grouping, all on the same slide. And we were able to do that in PowerPoint, but it was incredibly time-consuming to create the tables that created those charts.”
Matt and his team needed a solution that could save them time and help them automatically produce interactive, meaningful, and aesthetically-pleasing data visualizations for their clients. Matt knew that with the right tool, he could create the kinds of reports that would wow his clients and outshine the competition.