A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to data visualization, that’s definitely true. Using visuals allows business users to recognize new patterns and errors in their vast amounts of data, speeding up decision-making and driving the business forward.
However, it’s important to note that the form and function of a data visualization must work together. A data visualization that looks great but lacks clarity could actually do more harm than good.
What is Data Visualization?
Data visualization is the process of converting numbers and information into a graphical representation. This visual format can help businesses present and understand their data more effectively, making it a valuable tool for businesses of all kinds.
Data visualized in a chart or graph typically includes an x and y axis with bars, points, or lines to show comparisons at a glance. Other types of visualizations include an infographic, Gantt chart, pie chart, and geospatial map (also known as a choropleth or heat map).
Data visualization is important in presentations because it can help make complex information more digestible for audiences. This makes it easier for them to comprehend and remember key insights and trends. It also helps them quickly recognize any potential risks within their data or areas that may need more attention. Ultimately, this can help speed up decision-making and drive business growth at the same time. This is why many organizations are relying on data visualization tools and analytics in their daily operations.
What are the Benefits of Data Visualization?
Data visualization helps people easily understand complex information that may be difficult to comprehend in text or numeric form. It also allows them to see how independent data points relate to each other, and how to interpret the results of an analysis.
For instance, visualizing sales performance can highlight key insights, such as successful products or seasonal trends that can inform marketing strategy. The ability to quickly grasp these kinds of insights makes it easier for business owners to act on their findings and maximize gains and avoid losses.
Beyond that, data visualization can make data-heavy presentations more accessible to specific audiences without much technical knowledge. For example, a government agency might share maps of vaccinated regions with the general public to drive awareness about preventative health care measures. Ultimately, it’s important to keep the purpose of your data visualization in mind at all times to determine which chart type will best convey your key insights and deliver maximum impact.
How Can Data Visualization Help Me?
Data visualization allows you to unlock key values from massive sets of data and interpret them. It also helps you discover trends and connections that would otherwise remain hidden from plain numbers.
When creating a visual representation, it is important to consider the audience for whom you are designing it. This will help ensure that the data you are presenting is meaningful to your audience and that it will be understood and interpreted correctly.
There are many different kinds of data visualization techniques, including hierarchical (like tree diagrams, ring charts and sunburst diagrams), network, matrix, scatter plot (2D or 3D) and geospatial visualizations. Each type of visualization offers a unique way to communicate and analyze data. For example, a line graph might demonstrate that a company’s sales have been increasing every year, with the exception of 2018, while a pie chart might show the proportion of customers in each sales region. Correlation doesn’t always mean causation, however, so careful consideration must be taken when analyzing data visualizations.
How Can Data Visualization Help You?
One of the most important things data visualizations do is to help people identify patterns, trends and outliers that might not be obvious in raw data. This enables businesses to make informed decisions and improve business processes based on accurate insights.
Visualizations also help people communicate their findings clearly and concisely to stakeholders. This can be vital when presenting to executives, managers or other individuals who may not have the same level of technical knowledge.
Visualizations are often more recognizable and easily understood than spreadsheets or other tabular forms of information. When done well, they convey important “a-ha” insights and inspire action by enabling decision-makers to quickly and effectively recognize new opportunities or identify issues that require immediate attention. They can also be used to provide context, for example by showing industry benchmarks or previous quarter numbers alongside current data. This helps stakeholders understand how they stack up against their peers. They can also help to identify weak signals or “red flags” that might indicate potential problems.