What is Data Visualization?
Most of you’ll know what Data Visualization is, however let me enhance your knowledge on how it really began and what data visualization is capable of to improve the performance of an organization.
Data Visualization is a key fundamental to help you get the most out of your business intelligence and analytics investment.
Why Visualize Data?
We all live in a world where the access to information is growing vastly and where there is a sea of data out there. Data is exploding at a rate, and we have no control over it. According to the studies, 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone.
Data Visualization allows us to use charts or graphs to visualize this large amounts of complex data. It is thousand times easier than poring over spreadsheets or reports of thousands and thousands of rows and columns.
Data visualization is a quick and easy way to convey concepts in a universal manner where it allows you to experiment different scenarios by making slight adjustments.
Facts state that the world is spending billions and billions of dollars every year on technology in hope of producing meaningful and actionable information. According to the graphs below, Gartner predict the global BI market to grow to 136 billion dollars by 2020.
Data visualization can also:
- Identify areas that need attention or improvement
- Clarify which factors influence customer behavior
- Help you understand which products to place where
- Predict sales volumes
The most important tool that makes the information more meaningful, and that’s the human brain. Data visualization is important because the human brain is not a computer and has limitations. We all wish if we could upgrade our brain, may be given a quad core processing power so that we could do multiple things at once and upgrade our short term memory to remember on seven things. But the sad reality is our brains are not simply capable of understanding or remembering millions of rows of raw data without data visualization.
The chart below displays a set of data that represents yearly sales by region for 12 months.
Data is aggregated in months to make it easier to view. Some people love tables because it makes it easier to find exact numbers. But the game here is, are you’ll able to spot the highest and the lowest contributing region? I bet you cant. That is where data visualization comes in to play. Without data visualization it is very slow process as our brain cant read and understand what it all means. But with a good data visualization, we can recognize understand patterns.
Looking at the graph below we can easily state the following facts.
Central region is the best growing and fastest growing region, where the performance of southern region is declining. Eastern region performance is seasonal and the performance of the western region is gradually increasing yet it is the lowest performer.
All in all, we can use data visualization to help us achieve a number of things.
- Assists us in processing information regardless of the size of the data set being large or small.
- It helps us to make better decisions. Helps us to understand what’s happening and helps us to monitor if we are on the track.
- It can also be used to influence others and assist you in telling compelling story.