A century has passed since Frederick. R. Barnard said these famous words “A picture tells a thousand words”. We can all agree that this statement still holds true.
In a world where data is considered to be the “new oil”, cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing are gradually taking over. Thanks to the evolution of the internet, we generate and share more data than ever before.
As data science and analytics pick up the pace, companies across different domains are investing in these disciplines to stay ahead of the competition. However, due to the sheer volume of data that organizations deal with, it is impossible to achieve anything concrete from them.
This is where data visualization steps in!
Data visualization is a very simple concept to understand. In simple terms, data visualization can be defined as the process of representing data visually using graphs, charts, and more.
Today, as businesses strive to boost their productivity and efficiency, manual data visualization techniques have become obsolete. New data representation tools have replaced traditional visualization techniques and for a good reason.
After all, around 90% of all the information transmitted to the brain is visual .
In this article, we will understand what data visualization tools are and why visualization is important for your company.
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What is a Data Visualization Tool?
As mentioned above, conventional visualization techniques are being replaced by advanced visualization tools.
But what exactly is a data visualization tool?
Data visualization tools make it extremely easy for visualization designers to create visual representations of huge datasets.
Imagine the amount of effort, time, and resources that would be required to work with thousands of data points. The good news is that automation has made inroads in this space, and made it easy to create data visualizations.
It can be used for a range of applications such as annual reports, dashboards, investor slide decks, marketing, and other areas wherein data interpretation is an important component.
Why Does Your Company Need Data Visualization?
Before we dive deeper into understanding this, let’s take a look at some interesting numbers.
- Companies with cutting edge analytics capabilities are two times more likely to use data to make informed decisions 
- Besides, the decision-making process in these companies is five times faster than their rivals 
If this is not enough to get you onboard, these reasons surely will.
1. Data Visualization Simplifies Data Interpretation
Infographics, visualizations, and images have a much deeper impact on your audience than plain text. Do you know why? This is because mentally, visuals are strongly stitched to a memory.
Besides, visualizations allow you to deliver your message in the most effective and unique fashion. This has a deeper impact on your audience.
Data visualization also allows companies to achieve their goals more efficiently. Apart from making an impact on your audience, when you rely on visualizations to make a point, it is easier to persuade external as well as internal stakeholders.
When humongous volumes of data are presented in the most effective way, it is much easier to grasp. Besides, visualization tools take care of interrelationships between various data points and provide a visual representation of the same.
2. Data Visualization Enhances Decision Making
Now that we have learned that data visualization makes it easier to interpret data and communicate with internal and external stakeholders, let’s take a lot more benefits.
Did you know that business meetings or conferences in which visuals are used to discuss the key points are shorter compared to the ones that rely only on numbers and texts?
Data representation promotes swift decision-making and also allows users to understand trends, patterns, and insights in a much simpler way.
Data visualization is beneficial for all departments in a company. For instance, with the right tools, your sales team can have a much better understanding of customer preferences and behavior.
If you find visualization tools that align with your company’s objective, you will get the best results. For that, you will need to figure out how to incorporate the best data visualization solutions in your tech stack.
3. Data Visualization Boosts Audience Engagement
Users engage with information when they can relate to it. Data visualization increases relatability and also drives action and opinion.
Visualization also enhances collaboration and communication between different stakeholders as they can view and discuss key points from data in front of them. Today, a lot of companies are focusing on presenting data in the simplest form so that it is easy to understand.
Interactive visualization is another trend that is becoming popular. When you create interactive visualizations, you encourage users to ask questions and also change visualizations for better understanding.
4. Data Representation Decodes Unseen Patterns and Insights
This is another reason why conventional forms of data representation are losing their appeal. Data visualization tools allow you to unwrap patterns, trends, and relationships that cannot be identified easily.
You can also gain in-depth insights and interrelationships via visualization. Besides, it also allows you to determine hurdles in your operations and highlights areas for improvement.
You can use different types of data representations to unravel the different aspects of your operations. For example, flow maps can be used to track the route taken to deliver consignments. Further, flow maps can help you understand the relationship between different factors.
What Are You Waiting For?
At present, a plethora of data visualization tools and techniques are at your disposal. While you could use that to your advantage, it can also confuse you very easily.
This is why it is very essential to study and understand the core principles of data representation and choose the best tools that suit your needs.
Since the whole point of visualization is to present data as smoothly as possible, keep an eye on a few elements such as text and color. Besides, dashboard interactivity should also be designed with utmost care to ensure the development of impactful data visualization.
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Image 1 Source: rawpixel.com
Image 2 Source: rawpixel.com
 Trafton. A (2014) “MIT neuroscientists find the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds” MIT [online] Available from: https://news.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116 [accessed August 2021]
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