4 min read

Data Visualization: inspiring action through data

Through interactive visual analytics, data viz eliminates the guesswork in decision making and contributes to spreading the data culture.

In business, how much does a wrong decision cost? What if we told you that a clearer data visualization can ensure accurate decisions and protect your profit margin at the end of the day?

Research shows that companies often believe they are ‘data-driven’ when, in fact, they are not — which means that most people are not prepared to make decisions based on data.

Using visual analytics standards, such interactive charts, graphs and dashboards, data visualization comes into play to empower decisions.

Read on to get the most of data viz and its benefits.

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the illustrated representation of information. It is imagery dedicated exclusively to messaging or presenting data. The science behind data viz comes from a knowledge of how information is processed.

The main goal of data visualization is to use elements such as charts, graphs, and maps, and data tools in an accessible way to see and understand trends, and patterns.

In the world of big data, data visualization tools and technologies are essential for analyzing vast amounts of information and making data-driven decisions. Data viz is one of the steps of the data science process. It falls into place after data has been collected, processed, and modeled, and comes into play when data is visualized for conclusions to be made.

In the current cultural climate, everything is visual, from art, TV advertisements to films. Our eyes are drawn to colors and patterns which make things more palatable and accessible. And Data visualization is just that, a visual art form that grabs our interest and keeps our eyes on the message and the story being told.

Data storytelling: the fundamentals of Data Visualization

If you’ve ever stared at a massive spreadsheet, you know much effort it can be to find the patterns. Effective visualization can be a lifesaver with this, helping find the key points, highlighting them, and providing enhanced knowledge through the information.

But how best pass on this information, how to tell the story?

Traditionally there is a strict line when it comes to creative storytelling and technical analysis. But in the modern professional world, there is a cross-over between the two: data visualization sits right in the middle of analysis, providing visual storytelling.

It is increasingly valuable for professionals to tell stories through data and provide the who, what, when, where, and how. An example of this in the business context could be executives looking to share information with stakeholders.

Why Data Viz is so important?

Data visualization delivers quickly and effectively to communicate information universally.

The practice helps businesses to recognize which factors affect customer behavior; pinpoints areas that need improvement or more attention; makes data more memorable for stakeholders; understands when and where to place specific products; and predicts sales.

Other benefits of data viz include:

• Improved capacity to absorb information quickly, which enhances insights and faster decision making.
• Increased understanding of next steps to be taken for organizational improvement.
• Enhanced ability to maintain audience’s interest.
• Easier distribution of information.
• Escalates ability to act on findings quickly, achieving success more rapidly with fewer mistakes.

Data Viz + Big Data

Data Visualization plays an important role in Big Data projects. And the increased popularity of big data and data analysis projects has made visualization more important than ever.

In an increasingly competitive context companies are increasingly using machine learning to try and get ahead. This is done, by gathering massive amounts of data that can be difficult and slow to sort through, comprehend and explain. Visualization offers a means to speed this up and present information to business owners and stakeholders in ways they can be easily comprehended.

Big data visualization often goes beyond the typical techniques used in normal visualizations, it instead uses more intricate representations with complex tools.

Big data visualization requires powerful computer systems to collect raw data, process it, and turn it into graphical representations that quickly draw insights.

Visualization is crucial to advanced analytics for similar reasons. When data scientists write advanced predictive analytics or machine learning (ML) algorithms, it becomes important to visualize the outputs to monitor results to ensure that models are performing as intended.

This is because visualizations of complex algorithms are generally easier to interpret than numerical outputs.

Want more on Big Data? Why not watch our Webinar to see what it can do for your business?

Investing in Data Visualization reduces uncertainties

So at the end of the day, how impactful can data visualization be for your business? How to generate value with your business data?

Well, there is undoubtedly a great amount of value to be taken from data. But, how can we see the insights hidden within, especially when it comes from varied sources? The takeaway is this: Data is essential, but only if it tells a story. This is precisely where the value of data viz shines.

The role of visualization is to sift the information to present the essentials – after all, a lot of data is unnecessary. Data Science “tidies the house” and, along with visualization, makes it possible to interpret information and make projections, facilitating decision making.

Data analysis promotes efficiency in decision making, reduces errors, improves time to market, but above all else, enables employees to make the best decisions.

Is data easily accessible in your company?

If you’d like assistance on how best to utilize the art of data visualization or would just like to run through a few uncertainties you have with one of our team. Why not take advantage of MJV’s resources, reach out to one of our consultants to see how we can help.

Remember, you don’t have to go it alone.

Design Driven Data Science - MJV Technology & Innovation