Data is transforming entire industries and ushering in a new wave of innovation and industry. But as anyone who has taken on a data-driven initiative knows, it’s not always quick or easy to find the insights you’re looking for. Data has endless promise, but some fear it’s not fully living up to its full potential yet.
The problem is that quality insights must come from large, diverse, and unique data sets. By nature, those are complex and confusing, and even with analytics tools it’s not simple to find or understand crucial information. Paradoxically, the better the data set is the more or a labyrinthine it is as well.
To bridge the gap in data analytics, companies are increasingly utilizing advanced data visualization. Essentially, this is a way to dive deeply into data and present findings using clear charts, graphs, and visual indicators. In practice, visualization makes data instantly accessible and creates exciting opportunities for users. Now, it seems that data really can live up to its calling. Here are just a handful of examples:
- Deeper Understanding – Visual language is designed to be easy to comprehend and easy to remember. A simple illustration can communicate just as much as a lengthy spreadsheet or long list of numbers. But it does it in a way that makes the key takeaways immediately apparent.
- Faster Analysis – Data is only an asset if companies discover ideas and insights in enough time to use them. Visualizations speed up the pace of analysis by condensing a lot of information into a digestible format. Companies can locate and act on insights at whatever speed they require.
- Stronger Insights – Visualization represents two layers of analysis. The first is compiling a unique set of data. The second is locating trends, patterns, outliers, and anomalies within that data, and presenting them in a way that are actionable. These are exactly the kinds of actionable insights that analytics is supposed to produce, and visualization arrives at them with much less input and effort.
- Better Forecasting – Illustrating things visually is an excellent way to understand where a trend has come from and where it is likely to go next. Once companies get better at forecasting they gain a significant competitive advantage and become more immune to disruptions and miscalculations.
- Extended Flexibility – Now business users can present data flexibly in a best-fit format for their specific needs, even if they are examining predetermined data sets. This could take the form of a scatter plot, line graph or other model. Today’s visualization tools allows users to choose from a diverse range of interactive illustrations for more impactful data results.
- Enhanced Comparisons – Analytics really boils down to the idea of comparing two things against each other to spot the similarities and differences. Doing that with hard data like facts and figures is inconvenient at best. With visualizations, however, the key comparisons are crystal clear.
- Easier Access – In the past, a steep learning curve prevented many business users from engaging in search-driven data analytics without the help of trained data specialists. But now, employees and partners can query their own data and produce intuitive data visualization models—an innovation that saves organizations time and hassle.
On the surface, advanced data visualization seems like a small and simple concept. But once it is implemented the impact is broad and deep. Everyone knows that big data is the key to the future, they’re just not sure how the key works. Visualization makes something that is inaccessible for most accessible for all. And the companies that are learning to perfect big data now are the ones that are going to leap ahead of the pack moving forward.