My top five reasons:
1. When you’ve got a data table that no-one is able to digest. Big tables with lots of rows, columns. Tables containing lots of repeated values, or values that have high noise levels.
2. When you want none technical mangers to understand the importance of technical values – this allows you to present really complicated technical values in simple, almost vector form. e.g. “this is too big/small” OR “these values are getting bigger – that’s good”
3. When you want to spark discussion and analysis – especially if the team are somewhat distanced from the data. This has benefits as it allows staff to come outside their rigorous box of rules and think creatively.
4. For allowing those staff in your team who lack confidence in their mathematical skills – the power of being able to quickly comprehend lots of data can boost self perception.
5. To break out the big number crunchers. Magnificently satisfying to really dig through the data and determine underlying causes, correlations, insights and conclusions. Work that data baby.
And always; remember your argument, clarify your point, declutter!