We are often overloaded with verbal information. However, the mind immediately rejects the need to read so much and prefers to have visual representations of the same data. This is data visualization. Good examples of data visualization are graphs and charts.
Data visualization has applications in the formal presentations where you need to present numbers to an audience. However, often numbers and statistics don’t give people the whole picture. That’s again another reason for using data visualization techniques like charts, graphs and maps.
Benefits of Data Visualization
- We Process Information Faster Visually: By reading a chart or a graph, we can understand what the writer is trying to convey in pages of his article or data. Complex data information is simplified and summarized in the form of maps, charts and graphs rather than spreadsheets. For businessmen, this is very helpful as they can immediately understand and interpret the chart or graph before them and take swift action.
- Findings Encapsulated Constructively: Often, business reports submitted to senior management contain many static tables that are so elaborate that they miss making the point for which they were created. The information presented isn’t brightly displayed or memorable for the reader. However, with data visualization methods, information can now be easily interpreted by using interactive tools to make graphics meaningful.
- Users Can Track Links Between Operations and Business Performance: With data visualization methods, users can track the links forged between Operations and general business performance. This link is necessary to succeed in a competitive environment.
Related: Data Processing Cycle, Importance of Data Processing, Data Presentation and Analysis, Data Mining
Broad types of data visualization:
Data Visualization can be performed by various means. Some of the most common types are mentioned below. Based on requirement and complexity of data, one of these can be used:
Most widely used data visualization methods
Here are some tried and tested data visualization methods that will make your business soar.
- Indicator: When you want to give a quick idea of the performance of the business on a particular Key Performance Indicator (KPI), it’s best to use an Indicator. Bu using a gauge indicator visualization tool, you can show at a glance whether your company is above or below the necessary target and whether it’s on track or not. It works extremely well if colour coding and upward and downward arrows are used. If designing such visuals isn’t your forte, why not hire the services of a data visualization expert?
- Bar Chart: Bar charts or graphs are used to compare things between groups or to track changes over a period of time. It helps you see trends or patterns emerging over a while. A visual representation of statistical and analytical data, bar charts can help compare various values and represent all the various data categories that form a frequency distribution. Any marketer making a pitch using a bar chart can engage his audience by adding bar charts into his visual presentation.
- Line Chart: With a line chart, it’s easy to see a general trend briefly, quickly and clearly. You can also demonstrate trends for a variety of categories over the same period to have a better comparison.
- Column Chart: Column charts are generally used to make comparisons of varying values side by side. They can be used to show a change emerging over time, but this can be used to show total figures rather than the shape of the trend in question.
- Maps: The place of maps as tools of data visualization are many and of great importance. For one, one can easily understand the company’s multi-locational presence. It can show the amount of activity the company has across all its locations—all at a glance! It also helps company leaders make more intuitive decisions.
- Pie Chart: Pie charts effectively communicate the value of each share that make up a whole. By having a pie chart that tells a marketing team what works best, they can reallot their resources or efforts and get better results and leads. A pie chart should depict six categories or less, any more will crowd it up too much and make the values unreadable.
- Area Chart: This kind of chart shows the relationship between time and series. It works well when depicting data chronologically. Such charts are generally used at business meetings to present an idea of the general volume of cost and revenue. Such visualizations can be used to leverage in business. These charts give an insight into resource planning, financial management and ordering patterns, etc.
- Line Charts: If you want to demonstrate trends over some time or you want to show a comparison between variables, line charts are your best option. It is apt for anything to do with statistics. So, you could use these charts to show sales figures, profit margins, annual turnover, etc. By demonstrating changes over a particular duration, line graphs can be used to make predictions about yet unrecorded results.
- Column Chart: Though column charts bear a similarity with bar charts, yet there is also a difference between them. Column charts present data as organized rectangular columns. These charts present data comparisons of different values. By hiring a data visualization expert, you can get column charts just the way you want them.
- Treemap: A treemap is a data visualization technique that helps to present a lot of hierarchical data with the help of nested rectangles of different sizes and colours. The entire area of a treemap consists of smaller rectangles. These rectangles are nested inside each other. It shows the value of various marketing channels which are then divided according to country.
- Bullet Graph: If you want to track your team’s progress, you can do it with the help of a bulIet graph. This kind of graph is similar in appearance to a bar graph and they also use other visual elements. To use a bullet graph, you will begin with a main measure and then compare it with another or several measures to find a connection.
- Gauge Charts: Also known as speedometer or dial charts, these charts use colours and needles to present data in a dial type of visual. They are ideal for presenting just one value within a particular quantitative context. This is often used in progress reports and executive dashboards. By assigning minimum and maximum values and setting a colour range, the gauge chart will present an indication of a particular trend.
Regardless of the kind of data visualization you use, you should make it accurate. The software you choose for the job should be effective enough to interact perfectly with the data you present. You need a powerful yet flexible platform to create a beautiful and useful chart or graph.