Data Visualization: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

The rise of data has been one of the most significant developments of our lifetime. And as the volume and complexity of data continues to grow exponentially, data visualization will play an ever larger role in everyday life. Influencing everything from how we shop to how we vote. If you’re interested in breaking into this exciting field. Here’s what you need to know about the value of data visualization and how to become a part of this fast-growing industry.

What is data visualization?      

Data visualization is any way of representing data in a graphical or pictorial form. This can be done in order to visualize the relationships between different datasets, explore patterns, identify outliers, or discover trends. Data visualization helps people make sense of the vast amounts of information they are exposed to on a daily basis. The Internet has made it easier than ever for people to access large sets of data that have previously been difficult to find. Not only does this increase the volume of available data, but also increases its complexity. Consequently. There is an increased demand for effective tools for making sense of all this information as efficiently as possible and presenting it in a meaningful way.

Creating Data Visualizations

There are many methods of creating data visualizations. Some common ones include scatterplots, histograms, heat-maps and streamgraphs. Different formats of graphs exist, too. These may include line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, and even radar charts. All these different types of charts serve a specific purpose. For example, line graphs allow you to compare changes in one variable over time. While bar charts provide information about the differences between two or more categorical variables such as age ranges. Pie charts show proportions with regards to three or four categories and line plots graphically represent values on a continuous scale like heights or weights.

When using data visualizations, it is important to ask yourself what your objective is in generating the chart. What information do you want your reader to take away from your graphic? What kind of chart best communicates that? and what aspects of your dataset should stand out? Is there something you want people to see but not notice?. Create a false pattern so that you can catch them when they think everything looks normal. If there are elements in your dataset that don’t need highlighting. Then don’t put them on the graph. If anything, place those things at the bottom of the chart. so that they’re ignored by most readers who won’t scroll down far enough to see them. Remember, every data visualization must have a question it’s trying to answer before it can effectively answer it!

Top Data Visualization Challenges for Businesses

  1. Businesses need to know the difference between which data is relevant and which data isn’t.
  2. Data visualization is a science, but it takes creativity to make it work for your business.
  3. You need the right tools for the job – some businesses may find R or Tableau more useful, while others might use Excel or PowerPoint.
  4. Different types of data require different types of visualizations – understanding this can help you tell a compelling story with your data that resonates with people in your industry.

One great example is using cartograms to show population density over geography. Cartograms distort the land area based on what statistic they’re trying to represent. For instance, here’s an animated map of 2016 United States Presidential Election results by county that shows how votes are distributed across the country. What would happen if all Trump supporters moved out? Or if all Clinton supporters moved out?. There are lots of other ways to visualize complex data like demographics, economic development trends and weather patterns.

Why Is Data Visualization Important for Your Business?

Visualizing data is an extremely valuable tool for exploring trends in your industry. Data visualization can help you answer questions like what is the market share of my competitors. Or how are sales trending over time? The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. If you’re using data visualization as a decision-making tool. It’s important that the charts be clear and easy to understand.

Remember that not everyone has a technical background, so keep this in mind when deciding on a chart type. There are many ways to visualize your data and all of them will create different insights from the same dataset. So experiment with different approaches until you find one that works for you!

Better Data Representation     

Data visualization is the process of taking raw data and converting it into a visual representation that can be understood quickly. The goal of data visualization is to simplify complexity. Making it easier for people with different backgrounds or skill sets to understand the meaning behind the numbers. Many people don’t have strong statistical training, but everyone understands what a bar chart looks like, says Danyel Fisher. It’s not hard to see from one glance that the line on this chart goes up and down over time.

One company who has been very successful in using data visualization is Slack. They make extensive use of charts and graphs to show how much money their customers are spending on their product per day. Where they are most popular around the world. These visualizations are so effective because they allow users to get an overview of what’s happening without having to click through multiple pages of complicated spreadsheets and reports.

Scenario Modeling 

In a recent interview with Harvard Business Review, the founders of Lucidchart. A web-based diagramming software company, explained how data visualization is going to be hugely important in the next few decades. As businesses become more savvy about data analysis, they need a way to visualize the information for stakeholders.

This can be especially true in an industry like healthcare. Where medical professionals need to see different types of data in order for it make sense. A good data visualization system will allow them to do this seamlessly and efficiently. They’ll also have better control over who has access to what data. Which could go a long way towards solving some security issues. Data visualization has already had some huge impacts on many industries in just the last five years and we expect that trend to continue as time goes on.

Relationship Analysis

Data visualization is a way of mapping data in a way that makes it easy for humans to consume. Data visualization can be done with a wide variety of tools. But there are some things you need in order to do it well. You need the data itself. Which can come from anywhere (text, images, or numbers). You also need the right software. Some types of software are better at certain types of graphs than others. For example, if you want a pie chart, Excel has that feature. If you want something more complex like a word cloud then you’ll have to use another program like Tableau or QlikView.

If you’re doing something really simple like graphing your finances for the last few months. Then Excel will be good enough because it does bar charts really well and if it doesn’t have what you want then there are plenty of add-ins available on Microsoft’s website. However, if you’re trying to analyze relationships between different factors then either Tableau or QlikView will be better options. Because they’re specialized for graph type analysis. The best way to decide which one would work best for you is by reading reviews and comparing features before making a purchase decision.

Enhanced Data Capture  

We are in the age of big data. As the world becomes increasingly digital, we are collecting more and more data every day. But we aren’t utilizing it as much as we could be. Data visualization is one way to make sense of these complex sets of data by translating it into a graphical form. That makes it easier for humans to understand.

When we can visualize data, we can see trends and connections between seemingly unrelated information. For example, when graphing the correlation between population size and life expectancy rates. You would notice that an exponential increase in population correlates with an exponential increase in life expectancy rates.

Data visualization has many applications such as helping doctors diagnose disease or aiding scientists’ understanding of climate change patterns. There are even potential applications in advertising. Where companies can use data from social media posts to design ads that target their customer base better. Overall, the next few decades will be vastly different because of how deeply data will be ingrained into our lives.

Fraud Detection    

Data visualization is a key part of fraud detection because it helps spot trends that might be indicative of fraudulent activity. For example, if the number of purchases from a certain area or zip code suddenly skyrockets. It could be a sign that someone has figured out how to use stolen credit cards in those areas. This would make sense for retailers who want to protect themselves from fraud and theft.

However, this data can also come into play with law enforcement investigations. If a crime happens in one area but all of the bank records show charges on debit cards coming from an entirely different place. They will have the location where the money was spent instead of where the crime happened which could make solving crimes more difficult than they already are. With these types of tools at their disposal, law enforcement officers will be better able to do their jobs and help put criminals behind bars.

Boost in Business Profits        

There are so many benefits of data visualization. One of the most important is that it can increase the business profits. If a company wants to keep up with the competition, it must be able to make sense of all the data they have. Data visualization makes this possible by being able to take complicated information and make it easier for people to understand.

This is an important skill for companies in every industry because customers want more than just basic numbers; they want an understanding of how their money will be used. In today’s world where everyone has access to some form of technology, businesses need a new way to communicate effectively. They need something better than long reports and boring graphs. That is where data visualization comes into play.

Top Data Visualization Techniques for Businesses     

Bar chart

A bar chart is a great way to compare data, especially when you have multiple bars of the same height. This visual is also ideal for comparing categorical data like different age groups or types of products.

Pie charts – Pie charts are great for representing parts of a whole, or percentages in relation to one another. These are often used to represent geographical regions, ages, or family memberships. Line graphs – Line graphs display changes over time by connecting points with straight lines on an X-Y axis. They’re best used when there’s a trend that you want to follow over time—like inventory levels or stock prices. Pictographs – Pictographs are usually composed of two or more simple shapes to show how two sets of values differ from each other.

Venn diagram

Venn diagrams show similarities between two sets as overlapping circles divided into sections based on their differences. For example, they can be used to demonstrate which countries share similarities while being distinct in certain areas.

Sankey diagrams

Sankey diagrams show flows (such as movement of information, goods, capital). Through a system from one node to another. There are many variations of this type of graph but all rely on using curved lines (rather than straight) to connect nodes. The amount flowing from any point is measured at the end of the line opposite that point and represented using width or color intensity proportional to the value flow rate.

Data tables

Data tables work well if you’re trying to illustrate how various categories relate to one another or make comparisons across categories. Tables are made up of columns and rows and are typically formatted so that the most important data appears at the top left side of the table and decreases in significance towards the bottom right.

Radial diagrams

Radial diagrams help viewers explore data by expanding outwards from a central point. As the viewer gets further away from the center, their view becomes broader and encompasses more detail.

Bullet graphs

Bullet graphs condense information into short paragraphs of text with specific numerical details next to them. Bullets take up less space than traditional paragraphs, making it easy to convey lots of information in just a few seconds!

Scatter plots

Scatter plots are perfect for showing relationships between variables such as altitude and temperature. Each dot on the scatter plot represents a single instance of measurement.

Heat maps

Heat maps give users an overview of large quantities of data at once by displaying high density areas in warm colors and low density zones in cool colors, mimicking the heat given off from human bodies

Color gradients – Color gradients are a good way to indicate a data range by changing the hue of the gradient. This is helpful for highlighting information that may not fit on the map, for creating more visually appealing graphics, or for directing readers’ attention to something.


Tree-maps show hierarchical data as a tree diagram, with larger rectangles representing higher level items and smaller rectangles within those representing lower level items.

Chord diagrams

Chord diagrams are similar to Venn diagrams, but instead of circles, these graphs use chord lengths and angles to show how two sets of data intersect.

Flow charts

Flow charts show a sequence of steps that need to happen in order for an action to happen. They are most commonly used for processes that have a sequence with more than five steps.

Radar charts

Radar charts are a great way to show how two sets of data are related. They are particularly useful for comparing quantitative and qualitative data in a way that isn’t possible with a pie chart or line graph.

Tree diagrams

Tree diagrams are another option for illustrating the relationship between two sets of data, but they do it by splitting one set into categories and arranging them in an upside-down tree structure.

How to Choose the Right Data Visualization Technique for Your Business?

Choosing the right data visualization technique for your business is important because it can help you determine what type of information you should gather. For example, if you are a marketing research company, then a time-series chart would be best for displaying the trends in your data. However, if you are an environmental engineer, then a scatter plot may work better to display the relationships between variables.

A pie chart might work well as a way to show how different demographics contribute to revenue.` Different types of charts are useful for showing different types of relationships. The graph below shows two lines that look like they don’t connect at all. But they actually intersect at a specific point. Using this graph to make comparisons will not be very effective because the point where they intersect cannot be seen. If we were able to see the intersection point, then we could easily compare two lines side by side with much more accuracy.

Bar graphs are also good for comparing different sets of data, such as the weight and price of fruits. As you can see in the graph below, there appears to be some kind of trend going on. ` Choosing the right data visualization technique for your business is important because it can help you determine what type of information you should gather. For example, if you are a marketing research company, then a time-series chart would be best for displaying the trends in your data. However, if you are an environmental engineer, then a scatter plot may work better to display the relationships between variables. A pie chart might work well as a way to show how different demographics contribute to revenue.

Understanding Customer Behavior and Market Trends

Knowing what your customers want is the key to a successful business. Data visualization helps you understand customer behavior and market trends by providing an overview of data that can be hard to identify otherwise. Data visualization offers a general overview of the data. Showing you not only the raw numbers, but also what they mean in relation to each other. The more data points there are, the more difficult it becomes to interpret meaning from them. Which is where data visualization comes in handy.

To make it easy to read, the most important information should be at the top. Remember that charts and graphs should have time on one axis (usually the x-axis) while quantities or measurements go on the y-axis. You should choose colors wisely as well – contrasting colors like red against blue are best because they will pop out better than similar ones like green against yellow.

For example, these charts show weekly spending per person on various products at different times throughout 2020. Notice how this chart has both a bar graph and line graph so we can see how revenue changes over time. In addition, we’re able to compare different segments in order to get a more complete picture of our product lines’ sales.

One thing I would change about this chart is the size of my text; I would make it larger and bolder for easier viewing. It’s also worth noting that this type of graph may require further analysis to determine exactly when people buy these products during the year, especially if they shift seasons around. With good quality data and careful visual design choices, anyone can create compelling visualizations to help them understand their business.

Improved Decision Making    

Decision making is an integral part of any business, but it can be tough when there are too many factors to take into consideration. Data visualization can help by showing you the data you need at a glance. So you don’t have to wade through pages of data in order to find what you’re looking for. With a little effort and creativity, data visualization can be an excellent tool for taking on any decision-making project. You might want to consider these three things before you start your own project:

  • What kind of data do I have?
  • What am I trying to achieve with this data?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What language will they understand best?
  • Will this be interactive or static?

Whether you’re working on improving your marketing strategy or figuring out the best way to spend money in your company budget. Data visualization is a great way to organize complicated information and make it easy to understand.

Try using charts, graphs, and images to put together your data points; tables work well for raw numbers. Think about what language your audience speaks best. Use English if you are targeting international audiences and remember that some cultures read from right to left. Interactive visualizations let viewers explore the data themselves without having to read a long text explanation. While static visuals give readers all the information they need all at once.

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