Easy as Pie: Understanding Data Visualization
When you’re handling large amounts of information and trying to communicate trends and patterns to co-workers and shareholders, it’s important to understand the techniques that make doing so easier and more manageable. Data visualization is a crucial element in the business process and, thanks to technology, can be carried out more effortlessly than ever before.
If all that sounds a little overwhelming, you’re in luck. Today, Plan, Write, GO shares this comprehensive starter’s guide on the subject of data visualization.
What Is Data Visualization?
In simple terms, data visualization refers to the conversion of large amounts of information or data into more readable formats such as graphs, charts, infographics, or (increasingly) animations and videos. Understanding how to translate numerical information visually is important for your company’s efficiency, precision, and comprehension. This is also necessary to make large data sets accessible for all workers within a company as many find it easier to process imagery than numerical reports or text.
The Value of Data Visualization
Converting data into visual graphics may cost a business time and money but it’s always required for function.
- Immediately, pictorial or graphical forms of data visualization highlights correlations between separate variables. Being able to see the trajectory of sales figures, for example, allows businesses to make better decisions.
- Data visualization also allows us to see figures with more chronological cohesion. Sometimes, for example, we need to be able to make sense of numbers over many years.
- The process of visualizing data can also be an opportunity to carry out quality management of the data itself. We can use this process to weed out any anomalies or investigate any outlying figures.
- The reaction time of a business is improved when data is displayed clearly on a real-time dashboard. This is evident, for example, in the stock market where stocks are shown clearly and with symbolism to represent any fluctuations in price.
Use in Marketing
As marketing grows increasingly reliant on data and data analysis, the conversion of quantitative information into quick, comprehensible visuals is crucial for measuring and refining any campaign. Whether you’re creating strategy, analyzing performance or simply processing, marketers can benefit from learning about data visualization.
- To create a customer profile, it’s necessary to string together all of the disparate threads of information into one cohesive whole. Elements such as age, gender, location, social media platforms, spending habits, etc. can all be analyzed and aggregated to form a precise image of your customer.
- Perhaps the most obvious benefit of data visualization occurs in the analysis of a marketing strategy. Raw data can be misleading on its own and it’s often necessary to decipher this and present it as a whole so you can decide what has worked and what hasn’t.
- Data visualization can help us to better understand a customer’s user journey – for example, when navigating your website. Ascertaining bounce rate but also the location of their departure will help you to identify any persistent issues within the customer journey.
Tools for Data Visualization
Different situations call for different formats. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available online to help you convert information as needed. For instance, if you’re working with videos across various platforms and need to convert mp4 to gif, this free tool allows you to do so in moments.
You’ll also find plenty more free-to-use data visualization tools online, such as Google Charts. These are free as well, not to mention accessible and handy for those working on a budget or dealing with smaller data sets.
Understanding what data visualization is and how it can benefit your business is just the first step. It’s important from this point forward to familiarize yourself with the many different forms data can take and learn how to identify which of these is most apt for displaying your information.
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Carla Lopez retired a couple of years ago, but she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial spirit. She created Boomer Biz for retirees like herself who still have a desire to work and achieve. The site is a resource for people in their golden years who want to start their own business or go back to work doing what they love