The world around us is a wondrous place. While people and their brain capacity have remained pretty much the same over time, everything else has changed significantly. From an evolutionary perspective, the human eye has evolved. But seeing is a matter of interpretation, and in an increasingly richer visual world, it’s paramount for people to filter. After all, you can’t possibly absorb all the information available, especially not if you want to reap some sort of wisdom from it. But how to go about it?

Getting to the bottom of things: being selective is key

An enormous load of data tries to reach our senses 24/7. The question is, what sticks? Here’s a rule of thumb: the human brain is most affected by visual messages. Here’s another: everyone abandons lots of information so as to get a grasp of the essence. In other words, it’s easier for people to absorb visual data, which they filter to get to the bottom of things. Let’s have a brief look at the art world to fully understand this principle.

Painting and Visual Management: not that different!

These are tough times for painters. Think about it: while data used to be scarce, today’s world inundates people with images. As a result, it’s nearly impossible to still surprise them with a painting. So painters need to go out of their way to create strong, personal portraits and landscapes. Their tools: data selection and representation style. What do they include in the painting, and how do they do it?

Managers who want to implement Visual Management should ask themselves the exact same question. They, too, need to pay close attention to the filtering of data. ‘Purpose’ should be a keyword in this regard. Suppose you work for a bank with a large database that contains wrong addresses, names, and birth dates. If you have 2 million data records and simply want to segment these into ten groups, just throw out the erroneous data. No problem. But if fraud detection is your main goal, every wrong piece of information could signify a suspicious client.

We’ll put it differently: you can only determine which data is meaningful if you consider the actions you wish to take based on these data. And that’s why filtering is and always will be an art!

Want to know more about the art of essence? Watch these videos.

Need help with filtering? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your Visual Management opportunities.