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If you’re the type of person who simply can’t make sense of numbers when they’re presented to you as is, then hop on because we’re on the same boat, my friend.
It’s almost like instant dyslexia. Where fives look like twos and eights just look like googly eyes drawn sideways. I absolutely admire people who can instantly picture these numbers out in their heads and say “Oh, got it.” But for the rest of us? We got to get creative.
This is where data visualization comes in.
Data visualization is the translation of numerical data in visual format. It can be presented in multiple forms like bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, road maps, etc. Basically, you take the numbers and create a graphical representation that is easier to understand and absorb. This is most helpful for really big, really small, and fractional data sets.
And here’s some very exciting news: There are data visualization experts who specialize in making sense of business numbers and transforming them into graphics that can help key decision makers in the company find solutions faster.
Why Is Visualizing Data So Important?
Data without interpretation is meaningless. It would just be a bunch of characters and numbers without context. It would be no better than random scribbles on paper. It is the interpretation and analysis of data that gives it form and makes it relevant to the business’s operations.
In order to interpret what the data is trying to say, visualizing it is the first step. You need to be able to observe a tangible representation of such data in order to grasp its inference and predictions.
Benefits Of Data Visualization?
1. Prompt Analysis
Through graphical representations, numerical information becomes easier to understand and therefore leads to faster analyzation. A prime example of this can be found in a grade school classroom. A seven-year-old may not know what “eight minus two” is but they would understand that eating two slices of pizza from an eight-slice pizza will leave you with 6 slices.
That’s how data visualization works; it allows you to see trends and patterns because your brain can grasp graphic images faster than numerical data.
2. Problem Identification
Another benefit of DV is it allows you to identify problems or issues within your organization faster. Let me give you a proper example.
Suppose you have a recurring revenue business model (like a subscription or a retainer) and new sales are increasing month after month and the company earned $3800 in the first month, $4500 in the second month, and $7000 in the third month. Incredible, right? Business is probably booming.
But on another data set, the client drop rate is increasing. And a third data set shows that the recurring revenue is also dropping steadily. So while your company is increasing new sales month after month, the revenue you generate overall seems to be stagnant.
Writing it out and presenting it like this will not allow the analyzer to figure out what the problem is in a short period of time compared to when this same information is made into a line graph instead. This just shows the importance of data visualization in problem solving and brainstorming tasks in a business.
If you’re only looking at the first set of data, there is no problem. In fact, the business is winning. But combined with the other two data sets and all three being presented on the same chart, you’ll come to understand that there is a client retention problem.
3. Speedy Solutions
Once the problem is identified, the team can then come up with creative solutions faster. Data visualization helps collapse the time between identifying the problem and coming up with a solution to the problem by enabling speedier analyses of numerical information. For a company or business, this could mean being able to save thousands of dollars before it’s too late.
4. Historical Data Comparisons
Lastly, data visualization allows you to compare historical data easily. Instead of gathering all the numbers from the last five years and going over them one by one, having a data visualization expert take all of that information and transform it into a graphical representation is much faster and efficient.
And because these experts specialize in making sense of data, they may be able to introduce new angles to the data that you’ve never considered before – expanding your understanding of the business even further. Read more about this here.
What’s The Ultimate Benefit Of Data Visualization?
Among these, the most important benefit of data visualization is that it gives you the opportunity to get ahead. It allows you to identify problems that have not happened yet but have a strong possibility of happening in the near future. It gives you the benefit of not having to live through the experience but instead come up with a preventative measure that will keep the problem from arising in the first place.
Data visualization gives you an eagle-eye view of your company or business, especially when you master historical data analysis. It allows you to make decisions from a 50,000 feet view and gain a better understanding of where you want to take your company.