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Data Visualization: What it is and why matters for Small Businesses

By

Louie Pitlo

|

March 9, 2017

The concept of using pictures to understand data has been around for centuries and technology made it possible to process large amounts of data at lightning-fast speeds and data visualisation free. Data visualisation is a quick and easy way to convey concepts in a universal manner. It had become important even for small businesses because it has the capacity to identify areas of the business that need attention or improvement, clarify which organisational factors or strategy had influenced customer behaviour, help business owners understand which products to place where, and aid in predicting sales volumes. It is a form of business intelligence.

Keep in mind that to fully take advantage of visual analytics, businesses need to address several challenges such as finding and analysing data quickly or displaying information in a way that’s more relevant and meaningful for them.

You can make the most of the data visualisation dashboard to create or use images when you’re trying to find relationships and understand your data, which could include numerous variables. How?

  • By using graphical representations of business information

Businesses are able to see large amounts of data in clear, cohesive way. And then they can draw conclusions from that information. Data visualisation can make it significantly faster to analyse information in graphical format compared to analysing information in spreadsheets. Also, data analysis isn’t time-consuming task anymore.

  • Identify relationships and patterns

When presented in a graphical manner extensive amounts of complicated data can be easily understood. Companies can easily recognise parameters that are highly correlated using dashboard data visualisation. It makes business owners focus on areas most likely to influence their most important goals.

  • Pinpoint emerging trends

Using data visualisation it becomes easy to discover trends within the organisation and outside their company. Competitor monitoring can be easily tracked with dashboard data visualisation and result to a positive effect on the bottom line. This is because it is easy to spot outliers that affect product quality or customer dissatisfaction, and address these issues before they become bigger problems.

  • Communicate the story to others

When a business has discovered new insights from visual analytics, their next step is to communicate those insights to others. By using charts, graphs or other visually impactful representations of data it’s more engaging and gets the message across quickly. They can make use of auto charts especially for a large amount of data.

For a start, you may use RAW by Density Design. This is a highly customizable web app that you may freely download, install and modify. It can be only processed by the web browser but no one can access nor copy your data. It allows you to export visualisations in vector (SVG) or raster (PNG) format and embed them in your web page. The best thing about it is that their process is really simple. All you have to do is import or copy & paste your data into RAW, then choose a layout, map your dimensions, or customise as you see fit, and then export your finalised visualisation.

Also, check out Infogr.am, it is an easy app for creating infographics using the web. With this web app, you can build interactive, shareable, embeddable and downloadable infographics. It has more than 30 chart types, text objects, videos, images and maps. It’s easy to use it, just go to their homepage, create an account by registering your email or through your social accounts. Then simply hit the “Create” button to start building your graphic.

You may try also try GoodData which is cloud-based business intelligence and analytics platform that promotes visual data discovery, exploration, and collaboration. Also, 42% of fortune 500 companies use this tool to accelerate their digital transformation through the distribution of data-driven products across their organisation in a large amount of data. Check this video on Gooddata demo to know more about this data visualisation platform.

Data Visualization is a vast space of benefits and with tons of players. I have tried to include the best tools here irrespective of whether it's pricey or free. 

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