What Your Business Can Do with Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio from Office 365 remains a powerful visualization tool for businesses that very few people are aware of, and even fewer know how to use. That’s a shame because arguably Visio’s best feature is its ability to communicate data-driven information clearly. Its data-linking functionality is particularly powerful in cutting through the noise of numbers and figures and presenting them in a clean, visually appealing way that gets the information across to all members of your organization.

Visio now is available in Office 365 and connects with Microsoft’s latest reporting tool, called Power BI.

What is Visio?

Put simply, Visio is a Microsoft Office program that functions like a visualization tool to show data in an easily understandable way. Most often used for data that fits well with diagrams and charts, Visio takes standard images and allows flowcharts and decision diagrams to utilize those images to explain data.

If you make flowcharts or process maps, this is the tool of choice in the Project Management and Business Analyst, Network and Infrastructure communities.

One way to think of Visio is that it’s all about associating data with shapes on a diagram. You link data to these shapes and can apply graphic options including text, data bars and icons to display numbers in a visually comprehensible way. An awesome feature of Visio is that its data-linked diagrams are dynamic. This means that the data graphics will change in real-time when data is modified at the source (typically, the “source” is an Excel spreadsheet).

With Visio on your PC or mobile device, you can:

  • Organize complex ideas visually.
  • Get started with hundreds of templates, including flowcharts, timelines, floor plans, and more.
  • Add and connect shapes, text, and pictures to show relationships in your data.
  • Give diagrams a professional look with styles, effects, themes, and backgrounds.
  • Create dynamic diagrams and link to data from Excel, Access, or SharePoint.
  • Save diagrams to the cloud and share them with others through a browser, even with people who don’t have Visio installed.
  • View drawings on mobile devices.

How can my business use Visio for linking data?

A simple organization chart or any Internal Process: As an example, let’s take the employee photos of every worker and arrange them into a company organization chart. Along with each employee’s photo, we’ll add their names and titles. Once you have this information entered into a spreadsheet on Excel, it’s entirely up to you on how you’d like to organize your data. From vacation status to training completion, the options are virtually endless. And they can be tailored to your exact specifications without requiring a coding/developer background to do it.

Track spending and show where individual employees are in their budgets: After entering specific data into Excel, it’s important you take care to keep your data arranged logically so that Visio can understand it and display it correctly. When entered properly, Visio can associate shapes with specific data points automatically and also add extra text to the side of the shape. In this example, we’re able to show all the original employee information and include his or her unique budget as a text box next to each name.

The fun doesn’t have to stop there, however. You can customize the graphics however you please, and add or take away data across the board without skipping a beat.

Learn how to use Visio

We’ve only scratched the surface of what Visio and other Microsoft Office programs can do. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, contact Advisicon for trainings, seminars, and resources you and your company needs to thrive.


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Advisicon is a Project, Program & Portfolio Management Company. We transform your organization's project management with a mix of methodology and technology that delivers results. Our team specializes in technology implementations, application and workflow development, training and consulting.
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