What Is Data Visualization and Why Is It Important for Businesses?
Data has always been an anchor for businesses for making strategic choices and managing daily operations. In the past, data was handled manually, and hence, the scope of harnessing critical business information was limited. Once computers became an integral part of business workflows, users got an easier way to maintain and visualize data through spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel. Using such an application, businesses could store data in the preferred format, apply advanced features such as data sorting and filters, and visualize data in the form of charts, bar graphs, tables, etc. But the real development that transformed the way data is used across industries was the addition of intelligence to the mix. Today, data visualization services enable businesses to transform the way data is accessed, presented, analyzed, and used for optimal gains.
Data Visualization in the Context of Business Operations
Data is the oxygen that supports the growth and sustenance of organizations. Business leaders have always acknowledged the importance of using the streams of relevant data and looked for the best way to do it. The intent has been to apply technology and visualization elements to the seemingly random data and translate them into contextual information for drawing critical insights.
However, the large volume of data makes it impossible for the human workforce to manage and use it efficiently. This is where modern data visualization techniques come into play. Intelligent data visualization tools are an apt example of the application of rapidly transforming digital technology in the real world. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, and the like, data visualization solutions enable users to not just monitor and control operations but also forecast upcoming industry trends, cash in on new opportunities, and set up a robust platform for future growth.
Why Organizations need Data Visualization Tools
For decision makers to lead their organization in the face of immense market competition, data visualization is vital. Data visualization techniques allow users to present data in a variety of graphical and pictorial forms and tell a story that the stakeholders can relate to. Data visualization sheds light on the current position of the organization, the path it should tread for growth, and the factors that would make the projections a reality.
The top management must work on charting the organizational growth roadmap and cannot spend much time firefighting operational roadblocks. Data visualization tools emerge as a savior as they facilitate the workflow monitoring, flag pain points, and help fine-tune the processes. The interactive dashboards offered by the data visualization service providers help in drill-down views of business verticals, making problem diagnosis easy.
Facilitate Quick Actions
Agility and responsiveness are among the core qualities of successful enterprises. A business that responds quickly and adequately to the changing dynamics of the situation is the one that leads the race. However, a response in the form of smart decisions isn’t easy for the human brain since an unaided analysis of the different factors involved results in inaccuracies. But when information is summarized in the form of data visualization solutions such as charts and graphs, decisions and actions are faster and effective.
Data visualization forms allow business leaders to interpret and act upon information rapidly and in near-real-time.
Correct Data Interpretation
Time management is a concern for leaders and they can afford to spend hours analyzing the usually extensive business reports for drawing conclusions. Data visualization tools are built to address this very problem for businesses. Using data visualization tools, businesses transform data into vibrant and memorable forms for highlighting the points that matter. Since data can be extracted from a variety of sources, visualization tools can be used to sort, filter, format, and present it efficiently to save time and promote productivity.
Forecast the Future
Foresightedness is the quality of every successful business leader. To become an industry leader, the ability to look beyond the immediate surroundings and gauge the shape the market curve would take, is critical. Reliable data visualization service providers help clients to accurately predict future industry trends and patterns, and make decisions on hard facts rather than assumptions. For enterprises to stay relevant in the long run, data visualization service providers help them explore untapped data and critical insights to get future-ready.
Analyze Different Scenarios
Data visualization tools enable users to explore all possible outcomes of any given situation by factoring in different variables. With the help of a data visualization consulting services provider, enterprises can carry out accurate ‘what-if’ analysis to make better choices. The vendor can provider Machine Learning functionalities to the client to help it correlate operational issues to outcomes and suggest the best possible solution.
Popular data visualization categories for businesses
For effective data visualization, the display elements used should complement the data being presented. A carefully chosen data format enhances comprehension and makes interpretation easy. Among the different visualization categories in use, here’s a list of the top 5 most popular segments.
Temporal data visualization
When data visualization is linear and one-dimensional, they belong to the temporal category. Temporal visualizations are characterized by time-bounded stand-alone or overlapping lines. This form of visualization can be used for forecasting, anomaly detection reports, etc. A few popular examples include time-series sequences, timelines, scatter plots, and others.
Hierarchical Data Visualization
This visualization type involves groups within larger groups, i.e. it includes entities with dependent-parent relationships, such as treemaps. Hierarchical visualization is best for presenting information clusters, particularly the ones that flow from a single origin point. The best examples of this kind include tree diagrams, sunburst diagrams, and ring charts.
Multidimensional Data Visualization
As the name suggests, multidimensional data visualization involves 2 or more variables to create a 3D visualization. Due to the involvement of multiple concurrent layers and datasets, the multidimensional category is the most visually enhanced among all. It’s popular with business leaders since it readily facilitates targeted visual break-down to underscore key takeaways effortlessly. Scatter Plots, Histograms, Pie Charts, etc. are among the popular examples of multidimensional data visualization.
Network Data Visualizations
Network data visualization techniques such as Matrix Charts, Node-link diagrams, Alluvial diagrams, etc. are popularly used for connecting, displaying, and analyzing the relationships between different data sets. They negate the need for wordy explanations for highlighting data relationships, thus simplifying data complexity and promoting data comprehension.
Geospatial Data Visualizations
When the data to be worked on involves geographic concepts and physical locations such as countries, cities, or coordinates, the Geospatial visualization technique should be preferred. Use cases of this technique include display and analysis of sales data, customer acquisition data, information for political campaigns, etc. Heat maps, Density maps, Flow maps, and Cartograms are among the best examples of the Geospatial data visualization technique.
Advantages of Outsourcing Data Visualization Services
Albeit the benefits of data visualization are obvious, the thought of deciphering a sea of data through the application of smart visualization techniques is daunting for many. For small and mid-sized enterprises that are usually understaffed and budget-strapped, meeting the prerequisites is still more difficult. The best way out of this problem is opting for a professional data visualization services company that helps its clients to transform raw data into interactive visuals to tell a cohesive story.
Access to Specialized Tools and Processes
As professional BPO companies, data visualization consulting service firms bank on the latest and reliable tools to collect, analyze, organize, and display data. Their vast industry experience enables them to use the right tools based on the client’s business processes and requirements. The professionals of these firms usually follow tried and tested methodologies to involve the critical visual and data analyzing factors into the equation.
A professional data visualization firm uses the most compatible tools and processes to deliver results from day 1.
Data visualization involves the expertise of software engineers, data experts, and database specialists. Since most non-IT organizations do not usually boast of such specialists, they have two choices – hire such a team on short notice or outsource data visualization services to a trusty firm. Hiring specialists on company payroll is way more expensive than delegating the job to a reliable service firm. Besides getting rid of the time-taking employee onboarding process, an outsourcing engagement relieves the client of the need to arrange those expensive resource training sessions.
Outsourcing gives the client access to the best people in the business while promoting substantial cost-savings.
Support to the Core Team
The top-level management should focus on implementing the insights derived from the data visualization practice rather than involving extensively in the visualization process itself. Realizing organizational goals is easy when the leaders are supported by a competent team of data specialists. Such a team can retune the data management process to be in tandem with the workflow of the client, which would result in better targeting and analysis of relevant data.
While the vendor equips the core team with actionable business insights, the latter can focus on implementing the same.
A Second Perspective
Usually, the client team is so occupied in the operational side of the business that it can’t spare enough time to read between the lines and look for hidden messages and insights in the data streams. With a data visualization outsourcing services provider as the second fiddle, the client’s team can analyze data with a new perspective, which can be fate-changing at times. Since the data visualization partner serves clients across industries, it’s aware of the areas that matter the most to the client’s business.
3 Handy Tips to Select the Best Data Visualization Service Provider
With businesses realizing the importance of data for operational and long-term growth, the market is littered with numerous large and small data visualization consulting services, making it difficult for clients to identify the right one. While looking for a compatible data visualization partner, bearing the following points in mind would prove handy.
Relevant industry experience – Besides the overall experience of the firm, the client must check if the vendor has served businesses in the same industry as the client. With a business partner that understands the work approach and infrastructure of the client’s industry, the outcomes of the data visualization efforts are much better.
Data visualization arsenal – With market dynamics evolving rapidly, the vendor must be armed with the latest data visualization tools including Tableau, Klipfolio, Excel, and even open-source tools such as VTK. The client must enquire about the vendor’s process of integrating different data sources and the methodologies it uses for processing the sourced data.
Understand the intent: Besides converting data from traditional formats such as image, spreadsheets, etc. to easily-understandable charts and graphs, the vendor’s perspective must be aligned to the client’s goals. It must empower the client to tell the story they want, put across a clear message to the intended audience, and derive actionable insight from the stories.
Today the success of any enterprise is significantly determined by the strategic moves the decision makers make based on the prevailing market conditions and the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. However, the traditional forms of analyzing critical business data by wading through data line-by-line and straining to identify patterns and make observations simply don’t fit the scene. What businesses need today is a complete set of intelligent digital tools that help users source, tame, and display data in a form that reveals hidden insights and promotes smart choices. And deciding to work with a dependable data visualization services company is a great start to achieve that.
Who We Are and Why Our Expertise Matters?
At getSmartcoders, we understand the role that data plays in the success of any organization. Our decade-long experience in the industry enables us to help our clients with granular level control over data. For best outcomes, we leverage the latest data web analytics tools such as Tableau, Klipfolio, etc. depending on the client’s requirements. We build tailored dashboards and reporting tools for the ease of use and quick turnaround times, thus delivering end-to-end visualization solutions.