Data visualization tools, from the basic apps that come bundled with office computers to advanced software from data solution providers, have proven themselves very useful and even vital in various disciplines. Apart from business applications, such tools have also found their way in other fields where data analysis is a key variable. These fields include healthcare, politics, government services and the military.
Data visualization is a method by which information is rendered and then presented in an illustrative or graphical format. The main objective of this process is to make data easier to comprehend and analyze. Among the most common types of data visualization formats include line charts, pie charts and bar graphs. More sophisticated data visualization tools can render and present a huge amount of complex data in other illustrative formats such as heat maps, scatter plots, histograms, choropleths and Sankey diagrams.
For businesses, data visualization tools can do so much more than just spiff up a report. In fact, data visualization can help improve the bottom line of practically any kind of business. Here are several reasons why your business should be using data visualization tools.
Understand Information Better
Rendering and presenting data through a graphical format makes it faster and easier for you to understand it. It gives you an overall comprehension of the data far better than a worksheet. Research shows that one form of thought process utilizes the unconscious part of the brain. This part is responsible for exceedingly fast and automatic analysis like reading a sign on a roadside billboard, distinguishing between different color shades and riding a bike.
Studies show that this unconscious part of the brain analyzes approximately 11 million pieces of information per second as opposed to only 40 pieces of information with the conscious mind. The unconscious thought process analyzes more data through vision. Therefore, using data visualization tools to communicate data is far superior to doing the same using plain text.
Analyze and Compare Data
An illustrative representation of data and statistics provide you with a better comprehension and insight into the information. Data visualization tools are even more important with large data sets, making it easier for you to make sense out of the tons of data. Being able to comprehend a large amount of data quickly enables you to process and draw conclusions from it better. Businesses can use this data in a variety of ways. These include comparing your progress with pre-set goals and analyzing your competitiveness in the market. Visuals may also help you discover correlations and relationships between the data and other operational variables that were previously unknown to you.
See Patterns and Trends
Seeing data in graphical rendition allows you to see important patterns such as demand fluctuations, customer behavior in response to marketing campaigns and revenue generation performance in varying market conditions. Patterns may also reveal outliers that adversely affect progress, performance or sales.
Once you figure out patterns in your data, you can predict potential problems and address them even before they become an issue. In the same vein, data in easy-to-understand visuals may give you fresh ideas on how to generate or increase revenues.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that data visualization is only effective if it is accurate and that the representation suits the data. For instance, a pie graph would be better suited to indicate market share than to illustrate geographical data.
Basic data visualization tools may be able to help your business to some degree. However, if your business regularly generates a large amount of data stream, you may need the help of data solutions providers who can customize data visualization tools specifically for you.