Charts and graphics are visual tools that help people put together and interpret different amounts of information. Using a diagram means putting together all the data you’ve gathered in an easy to use chart. While it might seem easy, it’s important to understand the different types of graphs and charts so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. After that, you can use a handy online diagram maker to create your chart.
What is a diagram?
A diagram is a symbolic representation of information using visualisation techniques. To put it plainly, a diagram is a visual “device” that’s used to explain complex ideas in an easy to understand manner. Because people tend to learn and understand better when using visual aids, diagrams are perfect for explaining operational processes or applying data to decisions.
A diagram will help you break a complex concept or idea into smaller chunks of information. These can then be used to explore new ideas, come up with new processes and even manage different projects. Let’s see what are the most useful types of diagrams that can improve your work process!
Flowcharts are mainly used to better visualize systems or processes. There are various shapes used in a flowchart, such as circles, squares or diamonds. Each shape represents a different stage or piece of the process. Each of them is connected by an arrow that takes it to the next step. Flowcharts are extremely useful when it comes to analyzing or understanding the different steps in a process or a system’s sequence.
2. Mind Maps
Mind maps are extremely useful for organizing data around a central idea. Putting together a mind map isn’t very hard. You just need to place the main concept in the center and then use lines or arrows to connect it to smaller ideas or concepts that are related to it. Mind maps encourage the use of many visual aids so don’t be afraid to use different shapes, colors and images to better illustrate your point.
3. Gantt Charts
Gantt charts are the most reliable project management tools you can use. They’re used to showcase the most important steps in a project, along with each task’s duration in terms of hours, days, weeks and months. Gantt charts help both managers and teams alike by improving planning, identifying potential challenges or clearly splitting the work for better handling. When you use Gantt charts for your work, you will definitely improve both delivery time and your team’s understanding of the project.
4. Pert Charts
Pert is short for Program Evaluation Review Technique. This diagram was first designed and used in the 1950s by the US Navy and is especially useful when the planning stage of a project is done. When you have the plan ready to go, you can use a Pert chart to separate the project by tasks. Besides making the tasks clearer for the team, this will also help you get a better understanding of how much time different types of tasks would take.
5. Matrix Diagram
A Matrix diagram is one of the most important diagrams you can use. It’s especially important if you want to develop a long-lasting relationship with your clients. This type of diagram is used to analyze and understand the relations between different sets of data. With a Matrix diagram, you can compare two or more groups or elements within a single group. It will help you get a better understanding on how information is related, along with the possible strengths and weaknesses of those relations.
6. SWOT Analysis
SWOT is a combination of four words: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This type of diagram is extremely useful for business owners who want to get a deeper understanding of their venture. It gives useful insights into the potential weaknesses or strengths of a project or business. It also offers a clearer picture of what your competition might be doing, along with deeper insight into the areas where your business could do with an improved strategy.
7. Cause and Effect Diagram
The Cause and Effect diagram is also known as the Fishbone Diagram. This type of diagram is used to identify and address the potential risks that could pose a threat to business or project development. The Fishbone Diagram also helps in categorizing the different types of risks so you know exactly what you should prioritize.
8. Pareto Chart
A Pareto chart is essentially a bar diagram. The lengths of the bars are used to represent the cost or frequency. These bars will be arranged from left to right, starting with the longest and ending with the shortest. In this way, a Pareto chart will help you get a better understanding of which elements of a project are more important so you can better prioritize them. The Pareto chart is considered one of the most basic and important work quality tools.
The benefits of using diagrams for your work are many. They will help you improve communication (both between yourself and your clients and between the members of your team) and they will optimize processes. On top of that, diagrams will help you maintain consistency, as they will offer you a pattern you can follow for your daily work. They’re perfect for displaying different types of information in many different ways.
We cannot stress enough the importance of diagrams. No matter if you’re a business owner with several people working for you or you’re a freelancer, diagrams will help you condense huge amounts of information into bite-sized chunks that are easy to understand by everyone.
What about you? Have you used any diagrams in your work? If so, we’re sure they have improved your tasks to a certain degree. If you love diagrams as much as we do, make sure to share this article!