VisualCue is a new way to see your data and to gain valuable insights that were never apparent previously. With all new things, comes a new way of thinking. That is why we created this short tutorial on how to start thinking visually, and make the leap from static reports, to dynamic visual representations of your data.
It's all about the "Visual" Cues
The key to VisualCue’s technology is the Tile. Each Tile is made up of various icons. We call these icons Cues. Cues are iconic representations of the the various key performance indicators (KPIs) you are trying to measure. Thinking in terms of Cues is a bit different than just interpreting rows and columns of data.
The best place to start when you are new to VisualCue is your current reports. Look at those reports, and then decide which KPIs are important. Once identified, you can then decide how to represent them using a Tile.
Think of a Tile as each row in your report. A Tile represents a single item you are measuring, such as an Opportunity, or a Lead. Each Cue on a Tile represents the columns in your report. These are all of the KPIs associated with a particular item being measured. It is those columns and metrics that we need to represent graphically using Cues.
For example, you may want to monitor a specific phase in your opportunity sales cycle. Many times the first step is giving a demo. In this example you would want to select a Cue that represent the demo, such as a person giving a presentation. This Cue now represents the first step in your process. After the Cue has been defined, we can then use color to determine the length of time this step took when put against the defined benchmarks.
Sometimes Cues can be made up of multiple icons that represent a metric. These are called multi-state Cues. For example, you may be looking to monitor the source of your Leads. The first thing you would do is identify all of your current lead sources, such as web, word of mouth, trade show, etc. You would then assign a Cue to represent each of these lead sources. For web, you may select a globe icon, for word of mouth, you may select a mouth icon, and for trade show, you may select a name tag icon. The icon that you choose to represent your Cue is only limited by your imagination.
The Tile brings them all together
Now that you understand the process of associating Cues to your data, you will then need to consider how you would like to lay those Cues into your Tile. Tiles can be customized as you see fit, so considering how you may want to organize the Cues is all dependent on how you want to tell your story.
You will want to carefully think about the layout and what makes sense for you and your team. Many times you are trying to capture the performance of a process. In these cases, a Tile design that illustrates a step by step process can be very effective. Remember, you are trying to tell a story, so think about how things relate, and what makes sense grouped together in one section of the Tiles versus another.
Another important aspect of a Tile, is the Primary Cue. A Primary Cue is the largest, and most central Cue that represents the overall health of what is being measured. This Cue is driven by the results of the supporting Cues.
Keep in mind that you do not always need to fit all your information on a Tile. Sometimes further information can be better displayed as a drill down of a particular Tile, such as a Tile that represents the activities associated with a particular lead or opportunity.
A few best practices
Finally, we would like to share some examples of best practices when working with Cues and Tiles.
Creating a scene is important to telling a story. Cues that relate to each other are grouped together, and are positioned in a way that make the Tile feel singular when displayed next to other Tiles.
By placing Cues randomly, it is difficult to illustrate how particular information relates, and when viewed next to other Tiles, will begin to mix together.
It is important to have a central Primary Cue to represent the health of the Tile. The Primary Cue is normally placed in the center of the Tile, and should always be the largest and most prominent Cue.
No Primary Cue
You can see that by making all the Cues the same size, it is very difficult to quickly see the overall health of the Tile. The Primary Cue is lost in the other supporting Cues.
Applying color to the surface of Cue makes it much more visible than a Cue than uses only outline color.
Applying color to the outline of Cue makes it less visible than a Cue that uses surface color.