Using & Understanding Data

Data is used every day, whether it is to identify areas of improvement, check site traffic on a certain page, analyze sales revenues, or understand customer behavior, data is being used. It provides important information that can show trends, areas of weakness and improvement, relationships, and patterns. Once the data is collected it is rendered visually with the process called data visualization.

Data visualization is, taking that raw data and presenting it visually in graphs, tables, etc. which allows the patterns and results of the data to be seen much more clearly. For example looking at a spread sheet of data that goes on for ten pages would make it extremely difficult to see what the data is presenting. However, when the same data is taken and transformed into a visual image, it makes it much easier to comprehend and understand.

In the image below, without really reading closely into anything, you are immediately aware, by the title of the diagram and the different regions, that Gay rights in the North East is much more than the South East and Mid West. The different, filled in colors allow the user to quickly read the data without actually having to look at any numbers.

Data visualization with static graphs and visuals is effective, however, when made interactive, it takes it to the next level. It immediately changes the way the data is processed allowing for a deeper, more detailed understanding of the data. It provides a lot more freedom to the user, giving them options to choose from and makes using and understanding data, easy and clear.