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When running a business there are a lot of things you need to think about. Many tools exist to help you keep your thoughts organised, but you need to find the right tools for the right task.

For example, a Venn diagram can help you to show the logical relationship between different groups of information. They offer a simple visual representation of the information you’re trying to convey. This way, they can be used to compare and contrast information.

What Is a Venn Diagram?

A Venn diagram is an illustration representing two or more logical sets of information and their relation to each other. Traditionally these sets are depicted in the shape of circles. When the sets have a commonality, their representative shapes overlap. 

The most basic type of Venn diagram. Created with Canva.

This way, they help to visually represent differences and similarities between two concepts. They can be used in many different fields of study like mathematics, linguistics or computer science.

How Is a Venn Diagram Useful to Entrepreneurs?

It is easy to underestimate the power of the Venn diagram. After all, it is merely a set of different colored shapes, right? They might be relevant inside an elementary classroom, but how could they help you as an entrepreneur?

You might be surprised to find out just how useful these simplistic diagrams can be for you and your business. 

It’s Simple

You might think that their inherent simplicity is a disadvantage of Venn diagrams. The opposite is the case. Their simplicity is their biggest strength, as they make it possible for you to easily represent and clarify much more complex concepts.

By breaking down ideas and concepts into simple shapes you gain a better understanding of how they relate to each other. Venn diagrams strip away all the clutter and details of your data. They show you information in its purest form. Venn diagrams make it possible for you and your team to easily understand how different sets of information relate to each other. The information is clearly shown, so there is no need to painstakingly study or analyse the data.

It’s Visual 

Venn diagrams allow you to visually present your data. According to studies like “Reaching the Visual Learner: Teaching Property Through Art“, up to 65% of the general population are visual learners. This means that most people have an easier time absorbing information when it is visually presented to them. They will find it easier to understand the topic at hand and better comprehend the connections between different sets of information.

Organising your data in a Venn diagram makes the information much easier to pick up, learn, and memorise. Once the basic concept is clear, it is easier to move on to discuss things in detail.

It’s a Great Way to Make Comparisons

The main purpose of a Venn diagram is to visualise the relationship between different sets of data. This makes them excellent tools for comparing information.

A Venn diagram makes it much easier to see similarities and differences between your sets, while simultaneously highlighting what makes each section unique. Sometimes, correlations and probabilities that were previously unclear can be made visible. 

Due to their inherent nature, Venn diagrams help you to make comparisons and draw conclusions – some of which you might not have been able to make otherwise. This quality is also helpful when making decisions between two or more options.

Examples of Business Applications for Venn Diagrams

Venn diagrams become most useful when there are sets of data that need to be compared. This makes them extremely helpful tools for your business. When it comes to running a company there are always things that need to be compared and evaluated.

For example, they help you to compare and contrast different products. It can also be used to compare prototype iterations, different designs or even marketing tactics. Not only does the Venn diagram help you compare the individual elements, they will also make it easier for you to find a reasonable middle ground.

Another example for a business application is mapping out your audience. This is done by using personae. Essentially, a persona is a semi-fictional character representative of your target audience. Learn more about personae in our article “How to Take Advantage of Customer Personae in Business”. Create sets of the different personae your business is targeting. See how they overlap and relate to each other.

Similarly, you can use Venn diagrams to compare different products with each other. You can either make comparisons between your own products, or between your products and the products offered by your competitor. This allows you to see how well you are able to differentiate your products from others on the market.

When you’re looking into starting a business or trying to create a new product a Venn diagram can be useful as well. Make a list of the things you are good at, the things you can monetize and the things that you enjoy doing. Where all these sets intersect you will find the perfect sweet spot for a new business idea.

How Do You Make a Venn Diagram?

Now that you know about the advantages and uses of Venn diagrams you might ask yourself how exactly you can create them. We will show you how to do it in three simple steps.

Define a Goal

Before it gets practical, take a moment to think about what you want to do. Venn diagrams can be very helpful in a lot of cases. However, they don’t work equally well for all types of information and data sets. A Venn diagram is most useful when you are trying to compare two or more different things to each other.

Consider whether you want your diagram to be a quick reference guide for decision making or a more simplistic representation of the comparison between two concepts. The complexity of your Venn diagram will depend on how much information you want it to convey. 

Brainstorm

Once you decide on the goal or purpose for your diagram it is time to brainstorm some ideas on how it will look and what information you want to fill it with. 

The most basic type of Venn diagrams consist of two overlapping circles. This might not be enough for the specific use-case you have in mind. While you can add as many shapes to your Venn diagram as necessary, keep in mind that more shapes mean more clutter. The more complex it becomes, the harder it will be to read and understand.

For this step you might also need to perform some data analysis. This depends on the goal you set for your Venn diagram. 

If you want to read more about how to brainstorm ideas, check out our article “The Power of Brainstorming“.

Create

Now that you have decided on a purpose for your Venn diagram and gathered all necessary information it is time to actually create the diagram itself. There are many ways to go about making your Venn diagram. You can, of course, simply draw it out, either on a sheet of paper or digitally, but if you want your diagram to look a little more refined, there are many tools available to you.

One of the easiest ways to create a Venn diagram is to use an online generator. For example, you can use Canva. They offer a creation tool for Venn diagrams, providing a plethora of existing templates for you to customise. It is free and allows you to download your diagram in different file types.

You can also create your Venn diagram directly within your word editor of choice. For example both Google Docs and Microsoft Word allow you to create custom diagrams by letting you draw the shapes yourself. This can be quite tedious, if you are not familiar with the drawing tools and usually it results in visually less impressive diagrams. 

Conclusion

Venn diagrams are extremely useful tools not despite, but because of their simplicity. They allow you to easily compare and contrast different sets of information enabling you to simplify complex concepts and draw informed conclusions.

Whether you create them by hand or with an online tool, there are many different ways you can take advantage of Venn diagrams for your business.

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Daniel Dippold

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