Data visualization is an umbrella term used to describe any way used to show data in a visual context. It is used to give users information in a clear and concise way.
As businesses acquired huge amounts of data, there was a need for a simple way to check this huge amount of data in a succinct manner, which provided a quick overview of the same. Thus, data visualization came into play.
Data visualization is best used when analyzing data to derive results. By enabling users to see data in a pictorial or graphical fashion, it is easier to identify patterns and understand concepts quicker, making it simple to derive results from them.
An important highlight of using data visualization to boost your business is the ease in understanding trends and patterns, which practically jump out at you when placed in a visual context. In addition to this, data visualization makes it easier to grasp difficult concepts, as it is easier to understand pictorial cues than those placed in numbers or text.
One of the best examples of data visualization is the field of retail execution. When used in retail execution, data visualization helps evaluate and track KPIs, and visualize census and audit information. By using visualization tools, it is possible to generate a dashboard that contains data regarding the company’s performance across multiple KPIs, across different geographical regions, and then interpret the results.
The dashboard above is an example of Hope Research Group’s offering in dashboards to help with data visualization. By choosing KPIs, a company can track their progress, achieve goals, and make quick decisions with one look at the screen.
As seen in the dashboard above, a company can track performance across geographies, channels, and over a range of time, making it easy to track growth and understand what works and what doesn’t work for them.
While it was understood that data was purely business-based until the 1980’s, today, it includes entertainment and social parts as well. With new kinds of data storage (such as the Cloud), it is easy to obtain and access data.
According to researchers at International Data Corporation (IDC), the global annual rate of data production is expected to reach 163 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes) — that is TEN times the data generated in 2016 (16.1 zettabytes).
Based on the pace data is growing at, it is important that we find the right way to understand and use it. Given the growing importance of data (IDC estimates that by 2025, nearly 20% of the data in the global datasphere will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical), it is vital we interpret it well.
As data is set to increase in amount, range, and significance, it is imperative that businesses prioritize data that is most critical. In this age of digital and data transformation, only businesses that and identify and use important data are the ones that will reap benefits.
Some of the functions data visualization can help with include:
- Data over time
Some of the visualization techniques are:
- Area graph
- Bar graph
- Box and whisker chart
- Bubble chart
- Bubble map
- Bullet graph
- Candlestick chart
- Combo graph
- Connection map
- Donut chart
- Dot map
- Error bars
- Flow chart
- Flow map
- Gantt chart
- Heat map
- Illustration diagram
- Line graph
- Network diagram
- Pie chart
- Radar chart
- Scatter graph
- Tree chart
- Tree map
- Venn diagram
Using the above techniques shrinks vast amount of numbers and data to a pictorial form that is easy to take in, understand, and act upon. This helps ace market competition, as it helps businesses make note of the growth of their products in the market.
Data visualization makes a map out of the information you feed in, making it easier to navigate through the endless troves of numbers and other data thrown at you. A visual aspect to our data and information makes our work nearly effortless, being able to escape having to wade through a massive amount of information to find the needle in a haystack of data.
The market currently is facing a glut of data, and is in need of a simple — and quick — way of understanding this data. The clear solution is data visualization. When data is put together in a visual form, the numbers make sense. They register quicker, and it is easier to derive relationships and analyze them.
While much has been said about putting data into a graphic form, what is most important is to remember why data visualization will stand the test of time — it helps recognize and solve any problems in a business.