What is Data Visualization?
With so much information being collected through data analysis in the business world today, we must have a way to paint a picture of that data so we can interpret it. Data visualization gives us a clear idea of what the information means by giving it visual context through maps or graphs. This makes the data more natural for the human mind to comprehend and therefore makes it easier to identify trends, patterns, and outliers within large data sets.
Why is Data Visualization Important?
No matter what business or career you’ve chosen, data visualization can help by delivering data in the most efficient way possible. As one of the essential steps in the business intelligence process, data visualization takes the raw data, models it, and delivers the data so that conclusions can be reached. In advanced analytics, data scientists are creating machine learning algorithms to better compile essential data into visualizations that are easier to understand and interpret.
Specifically, data visualization uses visual data to communicate information in a manner that is universal, fast, and effective. This practice can help companies identify which areas need to be improved, which factors affect customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and what to do with specific products (where should they go and who should they be sold to). Visualized data gives stakeholders, business owners, and decision-makers a better prediction of sales volumes and future growth.
What Are The Benefits of Data Visualization?
Data visualization positively affects an organization’s decision-making process with interactive visual representations of data. Businesses can now recognize patterns more quickly because they can interpret data in graphical or pictorial forms. Here are some more specific ways that data visualization can benefit an organization:
- Correlations in Relationships: Without data visualization, it is challenging to identify the correlations between the relationship of independent variables. By making sense of those independent variables, we can make better business decisions.
- Trends Over Time: While this seems like an obvious use of data visualization, it is also one of the most valuable applications. It’s impossible to make predictions without having the necessary information from the past and present. Trends over time tell us where we were and where we can potentially go.
- Frequency: Closely related to trends over time is frequency. By examining the rate, or how often, customers purchase and when they buy gives us a better feel for how potential new customers might act and react to different marketing and customer acquisition strategies.
- Examining the Market: Data visualization takes the information from different markets to give you insights into which audiences to focus your attention on and which ones to stay away from. We get a clearer picture of the opportunities within those markets by displaying this data on various charts and graphs.
- Risk and Reward: Looking at value and risk metrics requires expertise because, without data visualization, we must interpret complicated spreadsheets and numbers. Once information is visualized, we can then pinpoint areas that may or may not require action.
- Reacting to the Market: The ability to obtain information quickly and easily with data displayed clearly on a functional dashboard allows businesses to act and respond to findings swiftly and helps to avoid making mistakes.
Which Data Visualization Techniques are Used?
There are many different methods of putting together information in a way that the data can be visualized. Depending on the data being modeled, and what its intended purpose is, a variety of different graphs and tables may be utilized to create an easy to interpret dashboard. Some visualizations are manually created, while others are automated. Either way, there are many types to meet your visualization needs.
- Infographics: Unlike a single data visualization, infographics take an extensive collection of information and gives you a comprehensive visual representation. An infographic is excellent for exploring complex and highly-subjective topics.
- Heatmap Visualization: This method uses a graph with numerical data points highlighted in light or warm colors to indicate whether the data is a high-value or a low-value point. Psychologically, this data visualization method helps the viewer to identify the information because studies have shown that humans interpret colors much better than numbers and letters.
- Fever Charts: A fever chart shows changing data over a period of time. As a marketing tool, we could take the performance from the previous year and compare that to the prior year to get an accurate projection of next year. This can help decision-makers easily interpret wide and varying data sources.
- Area Chart (or Graph): Area charts are excellent for visualizing the data’s time-series relationship. Whether you’re looking at the earnings for individual departments on a month to month basis or the popularity of a product since the 1980s, area charts can visualize this relationship.
- Histogram: Rather than looking at the trends over time, histograms are measuring frequencies instead. These graphs show the distribution of numerical data using an automated data visualization formula to display a range of values that can be easily interpreted.
Who Uses Data Visualization?
Data visualization is used across all industries to increase sales with existing customers and target new markets and demographics for potential customers. The World Advertising and Research Center (WARC) predicts that in 2020 half of the world’s advertising dollars will be spent online, which means companies everywhere have discovered the importance of web data. As a crucial step in data analytics, data visualization gives companies critical insights into untapped information and messages that would otherwise be lost. The days of scouring through thousands of rows of spreadsheets are over, as now we have a visual summary of data to identify trends and patterns.
We need data visualization because the human brain is not well equipped to devour so much raw, unorganized information and turn it into something usable and understandable. We need graphs and charts to communicate data findings so that we can identify patterns and trends to gain insight and make better decisions faster.
At analytiks, we understand the importance of data visualization and what it means to our clients. We provide them with user-friendly and beautiful visualization features and tools to depict their data in a clear and meaningful way. We’re here to ensure our clients have everything they need to make quick and informed decisions based on sound data that is easy to interpret. Contact our friendly team of professionals at analytiks today to hear how we can better your business.