The world of media is impacting on all of us in how we connect and make decisions/choices. There is a delicate balance between presenting the facts for example using a standard chart object such as a pie chart to make a choice from and making an assumption the reader knows what they mean, and spoon-feeding the user with an infographic such as a yes/no voting form which further assumes that they know what they are doing, then there is *gaming. Learning and knowledge skills are key in ensuring the correct level of user interface is delivered to end-users or knowledge workers. We can all dumb down but not all of us can or even want to skill up. No matter what our particular skill level the assumption stands that the user interface or UI needs to meet with the skill level of the consumer of the UI.
*Computer games are intuitive and structured usually around learning skills that once mastered make it possible to reach the next level of interaction. This combined with animation makes gaming an incredible way to present data and create desired outcomes of activity, described usually as play. In business, which is essentially a collection of rules-based logic + some gut instinct (risk) + imagination creates opportunity etc., therein lies a parallel.
When it comes to Standard Charts (traditional presentation methods), Infographics (static/animated descriptive images) and Gamification (interactive learning) we have a set of add-ons to the UI that enable an organisation to present data in a way to match knowledge workers needs. It costs less to dumb down systems interfaces than it does to train workers in high staff turnover companies. When training is an overhead and not an investment then that is the time to reconsider your UI.
The same logic is also true of complex systems such as ERP systems where detailed knowledge is required to know how to operate them making it difficult to skills match for particular roles. A friendlier UI can often make the difference.
When considering the presentation of data there is a lot to consider. Reporting UI standards can in themselves create great cost to a business. It is as much behavioural as it is marketing as it is analysis..
Analysts should therefore stick to charts. With marketing involvement step up to Infographics and with the help of training/support look at gamification of interfaces to corporate systems.