399: Using Data Visualization to Extract the Hidden Insights and Stories in Your Business with guest expert Steve Wexler

Steve Wexler, author of The Big Picture: How to Use Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions – Faster

Bill Ringle and Steve Wexler discuss the approaches and benefits of presenting data as charts, images, and infographics to make better decisions, build consensus, and tell a better story about the results you are producing for small business managers and leaders.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 350 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. If you are data literate, you can read data faster, interpret them better, and be quicker in making decisions and providing solutions.
  2. The goal of data visualization is to provide the most significant degree of understanding in the least amount of effort. It spares us from cognitive overload because it is easier to understand what we can quickly see.
  3. Collaboration is about creating something far more significant than what you can make independently.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Steve talks about his fourth-grade teacher, Mario Messi, who developed his love of reading. He is part of Steve’s pursuit of data literacy. [01:45]
  • How do the best leaders create the best conditions that allow their people to be their best and perform at their best? [04:29]
  • How can you recognize the good work of your colleagues with a genuine understanding of your people’s contributions? [05:18]
  • The Big Picture and The Big Book of Dashboards are geared toward data visualization practitioners. Steve talks about his fear in writing about this topic of serving some things that experts may already know about. [06:07]
  • Why do people tend to cling to their old tools, like spreadsheets, even if they are not as effectively reporting data as data visualization. Does this relate to data literacy? [08:19]
  • How do know if you are data literate? [10:16]
  • Why do we see so many bar charts? Are they ever appropriate to use? [11:43]
  • What are a few differences between data visualization versus storytelling? How to go from being just data literate to be able to use data to tell a story or make a decision. [14:27]
  • What are the four components of setting the stage for effective data visualization? [16:00]
  • What was it like to work with Seth Godin on his book collaboration, The Carbon Almanac, using your expertise in data visualization? [21:15]
  • What is the significance of Charlie Menard’s chart (chapter 8)? Why is it considered the Mona Lisa of data visualization? Are there improvements you found? [23:25]
  • Talk about some of the distinctions you’ve learned in collaboration versus compromise. [25:34]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [29:32]

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Expert Bio

Steve Wexler is the founder of Data Revelations, author of The Big Picture: How to Use Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions—Faster (winner of Data Literacy’s Most Insightful Data Book), and co-author of The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios.

Steve has worked with ADP, Gallup, Johnson & Johnson, Deloitte, ExxonMobil, Convergys, Consumer Reports, The Economist, SurveyMonkey, Con Edison, D&B, Marist, Cornell University, Stanford University, Tradeweb, Tiffany, McKinsey & Company, and many other organizations to help them understand and visualize their data. A Tableau Zen Master (Hall of Fame) and Iron Viz winner, Steve also serves on the advisory board to the Data Visualization Society and is co-host of the popular webinar series Chart Chat (winner of Data Literacy’s most interesting podcast award).

His presentations and training classes combine an extraordinary level of product mastery with the real-world experience gained through developing thousands of visualizations for dozens of clients. Steve has taught in both large and small organizations and is known for conducting his workshops and presentations with clarity, patience, and humor.

Contact Info and Social Media for Steve Wexler

  • Travels from: Briarcliff Manor, NY

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed, so you can explore further.

  • Amanda McCullough, executive director of The Data Visualization Society.
  • Troy Magnus, president of Focused Objective
  • The Carbon Almanac: It’s Not Too Late – edited by Seth Godin, created by the CARBON ALMANAC NETWORK, a team of over 300 researchers, writers, artists, and chart specialists located in 40 countries.
  • The 4 elements of setting the stage for data visualization: 1. Somebody needs to know the data. 2. Somebody has to know the tool. 3. Have stakeholders help steer decision-making. 4. Be able to iterate quickly as you get feedback from others. (Source: The Big Picture by Steve Wexler)

Published by Steve Wexler

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