In the race to find more and better sources of enterprise data, one fact is often overlooked: even the best analytics are useless if no one understands the results.
Data is most effective when integrated into every level of decision-making, but it’s unrealistic to expect every employee to wade through dense analytics reports on top of their other duties.
Instead, data needs to be converted into an accessible format that’s easy to read, use, and share.
This is where data visualization comes into play.
Data visualization is the process of taking complex information and displaying it graphically.
It can be as simple as a scatter chart or as detailed as a multi-component infographic.
Some digital graphics feature interactive elements that supply more detailed data.
Whatever form it takes, data visualization has a powerfully transformative effect on business when properly done.
Simplify large or complex data sets
Processing unstructured data is a core strength of machine learning, but explaining the results is hard to do in plain text.
For example, a program that analyzes social media traffic to determine the overall sentiment towards a brand might create a hundred page report in a single week.
The relevant information from that report could be expressed in a few well-constructed graphics instead.
Uncover new relationships between data sets
Data visualization goes farther than the trend charts marketers have been using for decades.
Being able to see and visually manipulate data provides insight into how unrelated factors are related, particularly which business conditions tend to affect other conditions and which have no bearing on each other.
Some of these relationships are visible only through data.
Help decision-makers absorb data faster
The human brain recognizes images in as little as 13 milliseconds, twice as fast as text.
Factors such as color, shape, and element orientation can add layers of complexity to a graphic without significantly increasing the time necessary to understand.
Meetings where data is presented graphically are therefore faster and more productive.
Suggest future courses of action
Data visualization puts disparate pieces of information in context.
Developing pain points become clearer, giving executives the chance to solve problems before they disrupt operations.
Good visualization also highlights opportunities for growth discovered during analysis.
Boost long-term data recall
Pictures are easier to remember than words.
People remember ten percent of what they hear, but thirty percent of what they see.
A statistic illustrated in a graphic will stick with readers longer than one from a report, no matter how well explained it was.
Engage personnel in data utilization
Organizational resistance is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when incorporating analytics into the decision-making cycle.
Executives recognize the value of data science but find it cumbersome to use on a daily basis.
Data that’s presented in an engaging visual format is more likely to be used than data sent out in a plain text report.
Encourage Facts, not Feelings
Though intuition has its place in business, statistics show that companies who make the majority of their choices based on gut instincts see a 5% drop in revenue when compared to data-centric companies.
That’s a steep price to pay for forgetting to make data accessible.
Prioritize data visualization and put your insights where they do the most good: in the hands of your leadership team.
For more on this business intelligence topic, read What’s the Best Way to Visualize Your Data?
Let Concepta show you how we can use Power BI to better visualize your data. Contact us today for a free consultation!