Data requires relevant context to be useful for making decisions. This graph plots sales over time of three auto manufacturers against sales events and the consumer confidence index for relevant context.
Competitor data provides a comparison, events indicate triggers and the consumer confidence index provides context. This level of information – when combined with experience – can be interpreted in a variety of useful ways. Adding market forces to the timeline provides a rich level of context which allows for greater interpretation and forward planning.
The graph is dynamic, allowing data inputs to be turned on and off and the date range to be filtered to focus the information being displayed, making it a compelling tool to use when presenting data and decisions.
By providing information in context you enable viewers to develop knowledge and become clever at decision making. The smart people amongst us are those who understand what they are seeing to the extent that they can make decisions based on that understanding.