What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization refers to any of several techniques that enable people to make sense of data and understand its deeper significance by placing the available information in some form of visual context. Trends, patterns, and correlations, which are difficult to recognize and often go undetected in text-based data are determined more easily using data visualization tools and programs. This graphical or pictorial presentation of data allows decision makers to better grasp analytical concepts and identify new patterns that might be emerging, especially ones that can have tremendous impact on business decisions.

Today, data visualization tools have gone way more advanced than the standard graphs and charts used in spreadsheet programs. Businesses now use software applications that display data in more sophisticated formats like dials and gauges, infographics, sparklines, geographic maps, heat maps, and more detailed charts. Some images and charts even include interactive capabilities, which enable users to drill more into the data and manipulate features for analysis and querying. There are also indicators that alert users on data updates or when predefined conditions appear or occur.

Data visualization is a crucial part of business intelligence and analytics. As a result, more software vendors and developers are moving toward more visual approaches in designing their BI programs. Nowadays, virtually all leading BI software offer strong data visualization features and functionalities. These tools have increasingly become critical in democratizing data gathering and analytics, while providing workers and decision makers accurate representations of critical business intelligence so they can make more data-driven insights and decisions that are beneficial to the organization.

Advanced analytics and big data projects also rely much on data visualization, especially nowadays when businesses are accumulating troves of information and data from multiple channels and sources. Data visualization tools offer easier, more efficient, and accurate ways to analyze information with the help of advanced predictive analytics.