Having insightful content is the difference between having content that is sharable and well received, and content that never makes it past your page. We are living in the information age, and the data that you are presented with is becoming ever more complex. If you are collecting a large amount of data, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of work that is involved with sifting through it and coming up with the right answer. While it might be tempting to think that simply purchasing software will solve your problem, the truth is you have to come up with a system that will allow you to know what direction you want to go in while you are collecting, reading, and organizing the data. Here are three steps to help you mine through a dark cavern of data and find the shining gold nugget buried within.
1. Create Control
Creating control from the beginning can allow the entire data capturing process to proceed with more ease. If you already have an idea of where your client wants to go, it is easier to segment the information you are looking for. Don’t allow your client to trickle data to you, and make sure you understand exactly what your clients want in the beginning. This will allow you to avoid gathering too much data which can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead, make sure that you have software in place that will allow you to see only the data that pertains to you all at once. Avoid having to go back and re-read data as this can become confusing, and it isn’t the best use of your time.
2. Create Context
Enough cannot be said about the effectiveness of mind-mapping for marketers. A mind-map allows you to create a visual representation of your thought process, which can help you come up with a context for the information. This is especially useful when you are dealing with exploratory data and you still aren’t sure which direction it will go in. This can allow you to see themes and insights without having to establish a flow. Bubbl.us is a great tool for mind-mapping.
3. Create Flow
Once you have your context conceptualized, it is time to create the flow and structure of your data. This is accomplished by storyboarding. Position out your data with graphic organizers before you put them into your slide presentation. According to this slideshow from Vanderbilt University, it will allow you to organize your data, track progress, synthesize data, and strategize how you will present it. Once you have transferred the content into your slide presentation, you can now focus on how you would like to design and format the slides for aesthetic appeal.
Following these three steps will make it easier for you to get through mountains of data without losing your footing.