I See. You See. We All See Data Visualization.

I See. You See. We All See Data Visualization.

Have you been hearing about the impact of big data? How artificial intelligence is changing the landscape of business? The essentials of metrics, measurements, analytics, insights, dashboards; big data is everywhere. In the age of the internet, everything is measurable. We are in a new millennium; spreadsheets are out, data visualization is in! If you are a bit overwhelmed about what in particular, data visualization is, David McCandless presents an excellent case for The Beauty of Data Visualization. He presents a compelling case about using our eyes for visualizing information to see the patterns and connections that matter. 

Data visualization is about designing information for clarity and telling a story that allows people to focus only on the information that is important.  The graphic representation of data, data visualization involves producing images that communicate relationships among the data to viewers of the images. This communication is achieved through the use of a methodical mapping between graphics and data values in the construction of the visualization. 

So why is data visualization a hot topic? Presenting data in a format that can be easily shared and understood has higher engagement than reviewing raw numbers. People are visual learners, 65% as a matter of fact. Visualization is a powerful communication tool, more so than numbers or words.

  • Graphics create more memorable messages.
  • Visualization methods are easier to understand across all departments, statisticians not required!
  • It’s difficult to make sense of large volumes of data without visualization methods.
  • Visualization tells the story concisely. Information can be shared quickly to inform and allow for deeper investigation.

Data visualization is one of the top buzzwords since 2017.  While it’s a recent buzzword, data visualization, as a term, has been around since 1983. In the world of Big Data, data visualization tools and technologies are key for analyzing vasts amounts of information to make data-driven decisions.  But data visualization is more than just a buzzword. A quick search on Google Trends supports the fact that data visualization is here to stay.

But where do you start? As a lean organization, resources are likely limited. However, in order to work smarter, not harder, isn’t that what technology is here for?  When incorporating technology solutions, the best strategy is to incorporate solutions into your technology stack that provide valuable insights for your organization.  Having the resources, whether you or an individual on your team, are needed for the technology to work for you (produce results) and not against you (non-producing expense).  

Let’s look at two solutions, from a fast-food perspective. The first solution is one for the short on time, hold the mayo, technologist (Canva). The second solution for the, I like to dig in and have it my way technologist (Tableau). Either way, you can get your fill, it just depends on your approach and how satisfied you will feel.

If you are short on time and resources, Canva may be a good solution for your data analysis. Canva offers a range of free, designer-made templates. There are several menu items to choose from and all you have to do is enter your data to get instant results, hold that mayo! You can change your side items and switch between different chart types like bar graphs, line graphs and pie charts without losing your data. With Canva, you can also customize the colors, the fonts and the backgrounds using simple drag and drop tools. They offer a range of templates for infographics, presentations, and reports. You have the option to publish your graphs easily by sharing, downloading, embedding or even having your graphs printed professionally. Canva helps you to navigate each type of graph and find the right one for your project to visualize with 20 different types of graphs (and counting) to include: relationships, proportions, trends, comparisons, organizational and project management items.  With over 15 million users worldwide, it’s clear that Canva has had success helping novice designers turn raw data into something that’s both visual and easy to understand, it’s their pleasure to serve you!

Using a simple bubble map template, this digital marketing visualization took about 3 minutes to create. 

So either your off and running, if so, thank you for sticking with me, enjoy your Canva! If not, hello Tableau!

Tableau wants to help you, have it your way with data visualization. However, they understand that you may need a little guidance or inspiration.  To provide guidance for getting started with data visualization, Tableau offers some common starter dashboards for templates. For inspiration, Tableau has curated 10 of the best examples of data visualization of all time, with examples that map historical conquests, analyze film scripts, reveal hidden causes of mortality, etc. They also have a public gallery that provides examples of visualizations made with the free Tableau Public tool.   

According to Tableau, Data visualization is a graphical representation of information and data. By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide a convenient way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data. ”Data visualization helps to tell stories by curating data into a form that is easier to understand, highlights the trends and outliers. A good visualization tells a story, removing the noise from data and highlighting the useful information.” Data visualization sits at the crossroads of analysis and visual storytelling.

Not every tool is right for every person looking to learn visualization techniques, and not every tool can meet the requirements of all users. When you’re learning data visualization, focus on best practices and explore your own personal style when it comes to visualizations and dashboards. Data visualization isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s important to build a foundation of analysis and storytelling. You can have it your way or just go for the fast-casual experience.  The most important takeaway is that you are fulfilled; regardless of the tools or software, you end up using.

Interested in learning more? Have another software or marketing topic you’d like to explore? Markestry is here to provide you with snippets that are valuable. The only way we can know is to hear from you! Please comment or connect and let us know what matters to you! 

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