Overcoming Math Anxiety in the Workplace with Data Visualization

Jake Freivald's picture
 By | November 20, 2015
in Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Dashboards, Data Visualization
November 20, 2015

For many users, translating numbers into visualizations may lessen math anxiety. 
Photo courtesy of TORLEY.

An interesting recent piece speaks about math anxiety, and how to best present data to people who are not comfortable working with numbers. The article's author, Bernard Marr says "you are likely to encounter in the work environment a good number of people who simply don’t like working with numbers, don’t absorb information presented in numeric form particularly well, or simply learn better another way."

This further demonstrates a point I've stressed in previous posts - the increasing importance of making enterprise information accessible and usable to audiences beyond analysts and power users.  The solution, according to Marr, is visualizations. He recommends "translating numbers into headlines, narratives, and images that better speak to people who don’t like numbers and/or don’t want to analyze numbers." That can include graphs, charts, and other visually compelling representations of information that make it much easier to decipher and interpret.

Our customer, and leading logistics service provider, nVision has empowered customers to better leverage their data with data visualization capabilities that display data points from freight invoices in intuitive graphs, gauges, and maps. Clients can use these visualizations to quickly and easily assess shipping options, monitor operations, track payments, and more. The environment delivers verifiable value to customers' bottom lines by increasing supply chain visibility, promoting cost-efficiency, and streamlining logistics activities.

Whether it's a simple bar graph or pie chart, or a more sophisticated scatter plot or multiscape, data visualization can make information easier for your users - even those suffering from math anxiety - to grasp and understand.

Find out more about data visualization and effective dashboard design in our complimentary white paper: Data Discovery in the Enterprise: 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Solution.