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What is Data Visualisation? Learn Why Businesses Need It

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It’s no secret that humans are visual creatures. From art and movies to digital advertising, people are drawn to and influenced by strong visual elements.

This tendency can be very useful for businesses that want to convey data, statistics, or complex information engagingly. Data visualisation allows companies to capture their audience’s interest, communicate data, and even persuade them to take action. 

So what is data visualisation, and how can you become an in-demand expert in this area?

data visualisationCredit : Freepik

What is Data Visualisation?

Data visualisation is an engaging, visual way to present technical and complex information. 

Sometimes also called information visualisation, information graphics, or statistical graphics, this process puts data into a visual context to make it easier to understand and help the intended audience internalise the message you are trying to convey. 

Presenting data this way also helps to identify any prevailing trends, patterns, and outliers in large data sets.

The most common types of data visualisation are:

  • Maps
  • Infographics
  • Charts
  • Dashboards
  • Graphs
  • Tables

Data visualisation is a part of the field of data science. It is founded on data collection, processing, and analysis, in order to finally present the data visually in a coherent and persuasive way. 

Data visualisation is making its mark in almost every industry, from displaying students’ academic progress in education to tracking advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence in the field of computer science.

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Why is Data Visualisation Important for Companies?

Data visualisation can bring data to life. Businesses can use digital dashboards, charts, interactive reports, and other visual representations to develop powerful insights and make critical, timely decisions. 

Additionally, data visualisation can be a valuable tool in marketing, helping to engage and persuade a company’s target audience.

Improved Communication

One of the key benefits of data visualisation is that it allows you to communicate complex data sets in an interesting, engaging, and understandable way to your staff, customers, shareholders, or other internal and external stakeholders. 

As companies grow more reliant on data and increasingly adopt big data, being able to communicate it visually becomes ever more important. This applies to virtually every department in almost every industry. 

For example, marketers can use data visualisation to identify factors influencing consumer behaviour, as well as create more compelling campaigns. A finance department can use it to better communicate the company’s financial position to stakeholders, as well as predict sales volume. Likewise, it helps management to absorb information quickly and make better decisions faster.

Better Engagement

Through data visualisation, organisations can present information to their audience in a way that they can easily understand and thus keep their interest. 

It also makes it easy to distribute complex information, creating the opportunity to share valuable insights with everyone. 

In short, data visualisation makes data more understandable and accessible, keeping everyone engaged.

Leverage Big Data

Companies increasingly rely on big data, and analysing data in such large volumes can be challenging, with many organisations failing to maximise their potential. 

However, by visualising this data, companies can more easily analyse large data sets and respond quickly to real-time problems. Big data visualisation helps companies turn enormous sets of raw data into graphical, illustrious representations that are easier to understand, allowing management to make better, faster decisions.


What Software is Used for Data Visualisation?

In its simplest form, data visualisation can be achieved with Microsoft Excel, but this has its limitations. The biggest names in the industry, such as SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM, SAS, have now introduced highly specialised data visualisation software. These apps provide a wide range of customised features that help you present any set of data in a more interactive and easy-to-understand format.

With such sophisticated tools, you can customise your visual presentations and transform your data into specialised visual elements. 

Many of these tools have their pros and cons, and many boast specific features, so it can be a good idea for data professionals to learn how to use several apps, rather than focusing on just one or two.


How to Develop Data Visualization Skills

So now that we’ve covered what is data visualisation, how can you develop the skills necessary to excel in this area? To build a career in data visualisation, or leverage these skills, it’s important to have a strong foundation in data analytics, technical skills, and strategic thinking.


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