How to Use Venn Diagrams to Solve Problems

What Are Venn Diagrams?

Venn diagrams define all the possible relationships between collections of sets. The most basic Venn diagrams simply consist of multiple circular boundaries describing the range of sets.

The most basic Venn diagrams

A simple Venn diagrams

The overlapping areas between the two boundaries describe the elements which are common between the two, while the areas that aren’t overlapping house the elements that are different. Venn diagrams are used often in math that people tend to assume they are used only to solve math problems. But as the 3 circle Venn diagram below shows it can be used to solve many other problems.

 

3 circle Venn diagram is a good example of using Venn diagram for solving problems

Using a 3 circle Venn diagram to solve problems

Though the above diagram may look complicated, it is actually very easy to understand. Although Venn diagrams can look complex when solving business processes understanding of the meaning of the boundaries and what they stand for can simplify the process to a great extent. Let us have a look at a few examples which demonstrate how Venn diagrams can make problem solving much easier.

Example 1: Company’s Hiring Process

The first example demonstrates a company’s employee short listing process. The Human Resources department looks for several factors when short-listing candidates for a position, such as experience, professional skills and leadership competence. Now, all of these qualities are different from each other, and may or may not be present in some candidates. However, the best candidates would be those that would have all of these qualities combined.

 

Using Venn diagrams to find the right candidate

How to use Venn diagrams to hire people

The candidate who has all three qualities is the perfect match for your organization. So by using simple Venn Diagrams like the one above, a company can easily demonstrate its hiring processes and make the selection process much easier.

A colorful and precise Venn diagram like the above can be easily created using our Venn diagram software and we have professionally designed Venn diagram templates for you to get started fast too.

Example 2: Investing in a Location

The second example takes things a step further and takes a look at how a company can use a Venn diagram to decide a suitable office location. The decision will be based on economic, social and environmental factors.

 

Venn diagram to select office location

Deciding office location using a Venn diagram

In a perfect scenario you’ll find a location that has all the above factors in equal measure. But if you fail to find such a location then you can decide which factor is most important to you. Whatever the priority because you already have listed down the locations making the decision becomes easier.

Example 3: Choosing a Dream Job

The last example will reflect on how one of the life’s most complicated questions can be easily answered using a Venn diagram. Choosing a dream job is something that has stumped most college graduates, but with a single Venn diagram, this thought process can be simplified to a great extent.

First, single out the factors which matter in choosing a dream job, such as things that you love to do, things you’re good at, and finally, earning potential. Though most of us dream of being a celebrity and coming on TV, not everyone is gifted with acting skills, and that career path may not be the most viable. Instead, choosing something that you are good at, that you love to do along with something that has a good earning potential would be the most practical choice.

Venn diagram to find the dream job

Dream job Venn diagram

A job which includes all of these three criteria would, therefore, be the dream job for someone. The three criteria need not necessarily be the same, and can be changed according to the individual’s requirements.

So you see, even the most complicated processes can be simplified by using these simple Venn diagrams.

Author

Nishadha

Software engineer turned tech evangelist. I handle marketing stuff here at Creately including writing blog posts and handling social media accounts. In my spare time I love to read and travel. Check out my personal blog Rumbling Lankan where I write about online marketing stuff.

Comments

  1. Andy

    Great article, and all true, but.. I hate venn diagrams! I don’t know why, they’ve just never seemed to work for me. Frustrating!

  2. Bharat Arora

    Hey thanks for writing. It helped me in many ways Thanks again 🙂

  3. Hi Nishadha,

    Nice article! I love Venn Diagrams because nothing comes to close to expressing the logical relationships between different sets of elements that well. With Microsoft Word 2003 you can create fantastic looking and colorful Venn Diagrams on the fly, with as many elements and colors as you need.

    • Nishadha

      Hi Worli,
      Yes, Venn diagrams are a good way to solve problems, it’s a shame that it’s sort of restricted to the mathematics subject. MS Word do provides some nice options to create Venn diagrams, although it’s not the cheapest thing around.

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