They say a picture is worth a thousand words – a testimony to the power of visualisation.
This saying holds especially true in a world running on data-driven insights. But let's face it, not everyone has the ability to analyse and understand a bunch of data sets and numbers. Hence, data visualisation is a crucial skill!
Data visualisation is all about presenting data in a visual format, using charts, graphs, and maps to tell a meaningful story. It is a key step in the data analysis process to avoid analysis paralysis – which all areas of business can benefit from.
Humans are much better at understanding data when it is presented visually in the form of graphs or charts rather than numerically. When data is visualised, it is easier to see emerging trends, which often leads to deriving insights from which more decisive and informed decisions can be made.
With easier collaboration and faster innovation, data visualisation serves as a powerful intuitive format to communicate analysis findings.
Types of Data Visualisation
Back in the days of early data visualisation, most of it was done on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to transform data into a table, bar graph, or pie chart. Nowadays, data visualisation designs have evolved into a myriad of intricate techniques for handling complicated data that are more visually appealing and easier to digest. Here are a few examples of data visualisation used across industries:
Used to analyse the correlation between variables, data is plotted on the chart as dots at the intersection of its two values. This creates a "scatter" effect, hence the name. Scatterplots work best for large datasets with no momentary elements. Scatterplots are mainly used to describe the correlation between two variables, which do not necessarily infer any kind of cause-and-effect relationship.
Not all data is simple enough to be summarised in a bar graph or pie chart. Network graphs show how different elements within a network relate to one another, with each element represented by an individual node. These nodes are connected to other related nodes via lines, and so on.
Network graphs are great for representing clusters within a large network of data by segmenting them into identifiable clusters for marketing purposes. A network graph can draw connections and parallels between your customer groups that might uncover certain patterns to give you an idea about your targeted audience.
Heatmaps are colour-coded representations of data that are useful for marketers to identify user behaviours and how they interact with or flow across a website or product. With the use of hot and cold spots, heatmaps visualise audience behaviours to correctly identify the movements made on certain web pages or product sites, which can greatly measure the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.
Funnel charts organise at least four stages of your consequential data into an easy-to-comprehend image. Showing how various inputs impact outputs and how it all influences the final results of a campaign, a funnel chart is ideal for visualising pain points across the buyer’s journey, from the excitement of getting the product to how the excitement fizzles out as the pain points are revealed, which can help improve your prototype's trial-and-error progress and workflow.
Ready to Up Your Data Visualisation Game?
So now that we've learnt about the types of data visualisation, it begs the question: why is data visualisation important?
Explaining the importance of data visualisation is simple: it helps people interact better visually with a better understanding of the data presented, which helps encourage meaningful discussions. The right visualisation can bring everyone on board.
As well as bringing people together, interactive data visualisation avoids the mistake of using hunches or guesses to make decisions, especially in time-sensitive situations, allowing your audience to reduce the amount of time spent looking through rows and rows of data. Data visualisation is designed to enhance your audience's overall experience.
With data visualisation in the bag and all the valuable skills you obtain from Sunway University Online's Master of Data Science, get ready to thrive and evolve in the modern business landscape!
Interested? Speak with our friendly Education Counsellors today to learn more!