You’re likely familiar with the overwhelming feeling of information overload if you’ve ever looked at a spreadsheet stuffed full of data. If you are a business owner, merchant, or analyst who has multiple data sources available every day, then you will be familiar with this feeling. How can you organize all the data generated by your business or your team in a way that is easy to understand? This will help you get the best insights possible for strategy, and decision-making. You can also write out a summary of what the data is indicating, But if your reports are to have an impact on potential investors or stakeholders, you should consider these options. This allows for better data quality and scale, as insights and data change over time – you’ll want to use data visualization.
Visualization is the best way to understand multichannel data and to use it to help you drive your business strategy forward. We’ll explain what data visualization is and how to start executing it. We’ll also discuss the different types of visualizations that you can use and when they should be used. Finally, we will show you your options for reporting to stakeholders.
What is data visualization?
Data visualizations can be described as graphics that reveals data or mapping between graphic marks with corresponding data values. They simplify complex spreadsheets and data tables, allowing for easier interpretation of imagery. This is the beauty of this type of presentation. It can compress large amounts of data into a simple form so complex ideas and insights can easily be communicated.
We are visual creatures (65% of us are visual learners) and can process lots of information by seeing a series of colors, shapes, and patterns in the right context. This allows us to identify repeating trends, insights, and outliers which then inform our decisions about how we drive our business. As the world becomes more data-driven, consolidating is becoming increasingly important. Data visualization is a great tool to help you sort and present a growing amount of data.
Also read: Top 14 Data Mining Tools and Software
How does data visualization work?
There are many ways to begin data visualization in order to improve your reporting and increase your business operations. There are many business intelligence platforms that can help you organize your data and visualize it. At the highest level, you will need a system that connects to the data sources you wish to analyze, whether they be spreadsheets or data sources via API. It also allows you to create reports or access pre-built visualizations.
The best one for you will depend on what data you have available, how skilled you are at data analysis, and how customizable you want it to be. It’s essential to understand the basics of visualizations and when to use them in order to make the most of the data you have. This foundation will make it easier for you to create data visualizations and reports that are more impactful for your company.
- Before you start, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- Who are the visualizations or reports for? (internal vs. externe stakeholders, executives vs. marketers analysts)
- Which metrics are being analyzed and which data sets are being reported?
- What makes it logical to group your data (daily/weekly/monthly)?
- What is your core question or the insight you want to gain?
- Which type of visualization is best?
These questions will help you navigate the following list of visualization options. There are many visualization options to choose from. However, this is not an exhaustive list. For more ideas on how to make your data shine, see the suggested resources at the end.
Examples of powerful data visualization
1. Line chart
Line charts are a popular type of data visualization. They have been around for quite some time and are still very common. These charts are best at showing data’s progress over time. A line chart is the best choice if you are looking to track a specific metric over a certain time period. Line charts are great for tracking sales and advertising campaigns as well as performance KPIs over time. Line charts have many advantages:
- They are simple to understand and create.
- They can be used to represent multiple metrics at the same time
- They provide insight and trends over time.
- They can be used for decision-making and forecasting.
- What makes line graphs make no sense? If you need to show quantities, categorical information, part-to-whole comparisons, or very sparse data, they won’t be as useful.
2. Vertical and horizontal bar charts
Bar charts work best when you have comparable data that you need to visualize. A bar chart is the best option if you have multiple metrics or data categories that are useful to compare. Your data set will determine whether you prefer to present data horizontally or vertically. Horizontal presentation is the best option but vertically is better if your categories have longer names or have a larger data set.
Bar charts are a great way to compare different types of data such as channel performance and marketing KPIs, customer groups (such as new customers versus repeat customers), and product insights (such as total orders for various product categories or SKUs).
3. Pie chart
If the data you have collected is the part-to-whole relationship to be represented, A pie chart is the best way of summarizing it all. If you need to see how much of your business each category represents, such as new customer acquisitions or ad spending from different channels or the representation of certain products or segments of customers relative to the entire, a part-to-whole relationship can help. This will help you to determine where your company should be focusing its efforts. These are the dos and don’ts for pie charts. They will help you keep your chart simple and clear.
- For readability and ease of understanding, limit sections to five or fewer.
- Use only as many colors to differentiate sections. Too many can cause confusion visually.
- Use percentages to ensure that the total pie is equal to 100%. Also, make sure that it’s meaningful.
- You can use 3D effects to explode your chart
- You can use more than one pie graph and ask your audience to compare them
- If you are using percentages, leave out the percentages for each part.
4. Area chart
Although similar to line charts in appearance, area charts differ from them in that they have color below the lines to show the magnitude of changes over time. This type of data can also be represented using a line chart, It can be even more striking when combined with an area chart. Particularly if the metrics that you are measuring have experienced a significant jump or fall over time that you wish to highlight.
5. Data tables
When you need to quickly summarise, group, filter, and sum large amounts of data, tables are a great tool. Although a table isn’t an impactful visualization by itself, it can be useful for organizing data into useful subsets that can then be used to create compelling visualizations. A line graph or pie chart might not be able to accurately represent static data.
However, a table can help you organize your data in many different ways. The table below allows you to sort customers by relationship length or the total number of orders or customer status. You can also filter by additional data points such as revenue, VIP loyalty status, average order value, and revenue.
Data visualization delivery
After you have determined which visualizations are most effective for the data that you have, you can choose the delivery method that makes sense. An emailed report is a great way to distribute information to your customers, stakeholders, and investors, as well as employees. This is especially important if you are tracking data over a long period of time that would benefit your audience. In-app visualization options are available for data analysis and business intelligence platforms. These include email, PDF, or templated dashboards. You can also schedule ongoing reports. Consider these options when deciding on the best way to deliver your data visualizations:
- Who is allowed to view your data visualizations and what are their purposes? Is it your employees or external clients?
- Are your visualizations interactive or static?
- Do you want the data to be updated automatically?
- Are you looking for recurring monthly, weekly, or daily reports?
Data visualization can help you make sense of all the data you have at your fingertips — Use it to gain valuable insights for your company. However, effective data visualization starts with understanding the data set and having the right tools to visualize it. Knowing what type of data visualization is appropriate for your questions will help you to make an informed decision.
These are the key points to remember before you leave.
- Data visualizations are graphs that show how visual marks relate to data values.
- Data visualizations allow us to identify repeating trends, insights, and outliers easier that can be used to help us make better decisions and understand more complex data sets
- To execute data visualizations, A platform that connects your data sources and allows visualization creation is essential. You can choose from pre-built dashboards or custom reports.
- There are many types of data visualizations, including line charts, bar charts, and pie charts as well as area charts and tables. The best visualizations will depend on the data you have and the insights you want to derive from them.
- Data visualizations can be created using the following techniques consider who your audience is, the metrics and data sources that you will need, and how you will group your data. What is your core question? Which type of visualization best suits your needs?
- Data visualizations can be delivered via one-time email reports, scheduled or automated reports, PDFs, interactive dashboards, and many other methods available depending on the software you use for reporting and analytics to determine the best delivery method, think about who will be viewing your report.