Data visualization helps individuals understand the relevance and importance of data by putting it in a visual context. Patterns, trends and correlations that may have otherwise gone unnoticed in text-based data can be uncovered, more easily seen and better examined through data visualization.
Data visualization can be simple charts and graphs, however, more sophisticated ways of presenting the information are frequently used. These include infographics, dials and gauges, geographic maps, sparklines, heat maps and comprehensive bar, pie and fever charts.
Why use data visualization? Data visualization helps organizations better communicate information and helps individuals clearly see information that otherwise may not be as obvious. Data visualization also makes it easier to share information. Standard spreadsheets have inherent limitations and makes visual representation difficult. Spreadsheets can take hours to analyze, where as a visual interpretation of data can take seconds.
Data Visualization Benefits include:
- Process information in new and more productive ways
- Visually see relationships and patterns
- Quickly recognize and take action on emerging trends
- Easily interact and edit data
- Convey a story using data
As organizations recognize the importance of data, more and more decision makers are relying of data visualization to create meaning, find relevance among variables and communicate concepts. When information is presented visually, it helps us process information faster, create meaning, remember it and take action.