According to the WEC (World Economic Forum), the global system produces almost 2.6 quintillion bytes of data every day,
The data creation rate increases every day, and the data produced within the last two years amounts to approximately 90% of our total recorded data!
With this ever-increasing amount of data, making sense of it becomes a challenge.
This is where data visualisation helps.
What is data visualisation?
Data visualisation is a way to communicate information using charts and tables.
Data visualisation is a technique widely used in today’s world to communicate insights from data through visual depiction.
Its main goal is to transform large datasets into visual graphics to allow for an effortless understanding of complicated connections or correlations within the data.
Commonly used terms such as information graphics, statistical graphics, and information visualisation refer to the same technique called data visualisation.
Why data visualisation?
People absorb and retain information better when portrayed visually. If the data is displayed more visually, such as through visual maps, individuals are 17% more productive and need to use 20% less mental resources.
What’s more, teams collaborating on a joint project use 10% less mental resources and are a whole 8% more productive when using visualisation tools.
Data visualisation is an indispensable part of most companies across the globe. It is because our brain can understand visual depiction much more quickly rather than a written description of something.
A graphical representation of information helps us see large datasets clearly and in a cohesive way and comprehend that information significantly faster.
It has completely changed the way how data analysis used to work previously.
It has helped in digging more insights from data while providing a more imaginative perspective about it.
Data visualisation is used in many walks of life
In the corporate environment, the use of data visualisation is extensive. Dashboards are interactive data visualation.
Dashboards portray business information to users in a way that is simple for them to absorb. Well designed dashboards should answer the initial business question and also follow on questions.
For example, a dashboard may show sales vs budget. Plus it could also show which products are contributing to those sales, which products are up YoY, which are down, etc.
In more day to day life, data visualisation is also prevalent. For example, infographics are often used to portray a message or a story in a visual form.
Building good data visualisations
Designing and building good data visusaliations is a skill.
To build business dashboards the developer needs a great understanding of the business and strong technical knowledge. This is a rare skill to find, hence it is often more efficient for businesses to turn to using a data visualisation consultancy.
Infographics are also difficult to create. Often these are developed by large agencies. Often professional graphic designers design the infographic and give it to a developer to build.
The most important aspect of an infographic to grab attention is the appearance.
This differs from dashboards where the most important aspect is the information it provides. In the business environment, where time is precious, users expect information in as few clicks as possible.
Therefore dashboards should be kept as simple as possible to ensure the key information is portrayed quickly to the user.
To make your data visualisation effective make sure to display only relevant facts with simple graphics.
Make use of colours that are pleasing to the eye. Also, keep in mind colour blindness and try to avoid a red-green colour scheme in dashboards.
In addition, incorporating interactively in dashboards increasing user experience. Enabling the user to drill-down allows them to answer multiple related business questions in once place. Finally, keep your visualisation updated with the latest data to stay relevant to your audience.