clean vs comprehensive data = action vs nuance?
August 14, 2008
We've all got that MASSIVE excel file sitting somewhere on our computers. We meant to do great things with it. The numbers could have spoken volumes, adding new dimensions to our presentations, to our proposed business plans, to our perspectives and to our proposed strategies.
However, in the interest of keeping it clean, making the information we were looking to impart both clear and digestible, we dumbed down the data, sacrificing nuance for actionable results. In an ideal world, we could have both nuance and action. However, the demands of time-pressed reality occasionally demand that this sacrifice be made.
Consider the topic of web 2.0. I have presented on the topic dozens of times. My presentations have ranged anywhere from a single slide, picture or video, to 80 page manifestos on strategy, tactics, implementations, best practices, etc. And as much I as would like to believe that my presentation skills are strong, it is impossible to impart an entire discipline in a single image.
Is it possible to boil down complexity without losing nuance?
Consider the illustrations below.
- Do they say the same thing?
- Are they equally accurate, equally nuanced?