Irrespective of the business or function we are in, we come across a lot of data which needs to be analysed in a short time. The data can be from sources familiar or unfamiliar to you. In the latter case you might need more time to be familiarized with the data. Either ways it is important that you understand the data before you make your decisions.
This is where data visualization comes into play. And data visualization is not just about bar graphs, pie charts…
The best data visualization methods are those which showcase some underlying facet of the data and its interrelationships. Understanding the data interrelationships is essential for decision making. The Periodic Table is an excellent example for data visualization. It beautifully represents the features of the various elements and their correlations too.
There are many types of visualizations possible for each data set. The objective behind any of these visualizations is to generate ideas and provide information to the user. Visualizations can be done for exploring or explaining the data. Visualization for exploring is useful when the exact essence of data is not known and you are essentially trying to make sense of the data, the relationships and the patterns. In such cases the visualization should be done iteratively so that you can extract the correct relationships and make sense of the data. When visualization is done for explain the data should be clean. This can be used when you actually know what the data is about but would want to explain it to someone else.
In the end it is important to remember not only is data visualization useful for you to make sense of your data, but it can be used to attract customers too – through nice infographics! With the advent of Big Data, data visualization has become even more vital. It makes thus immense sense to recruit or train a design expert for leveraging on data visualization.