Sometimes all it takes is doing a little analysis, putting that analysis on a map and making that map available. Then (in the words of Emeril) *BAM* you look like a genius.
There’s something about showing where places are and being able to see a relative distance that adds the non-table driven context. It’s that context of location that let’s people know that the data inherent in the spot on the map they see feels right. Throw some hotspots and demographics on there and suddenly you have solid gold.
But maps can be a crutch too. A map can sometimes imply a laziness that is being disguised. Because maps feel good, look good and seem reliable they can be used incorrectly. It’s like a staged photograph where someone picks the angle that doesn’t show where the roof is sagging.