NOTE: The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence.
Data is a wonderful thing. However, it’s only useful when it can be interpreted and communicated effectively. Visualization goesa long way toward this as it leverages the fact that human beings are visually oriented. In other words, you can tell people things and it might get through, but the odds of retention go up significantly when you show them. With that in mind, here’s what to look for in the best data visualization tools.
The Role of Data Visualization in Business
Translating huge quantities of numbers and words into a more easily digestible format is the chief advantage of data visualization. It saves time by helping people see trends and make decisions more quickly. It also makes it easier to see what might be flawed logic. Well-crafted charts and graphics can either confirm what is true or reveal what is false to turn raw metrics into actionable insights.
Automation: The effort required to create a viz based on millions of data points is unimaginable. Thus, the best data visualization tools are capable of drafting interactive visualizations on their own, based upon questions the user asks.
For example, let’s say you’re an auto manufacturer seeing a cluster of customer complaints around failures in a particular model. To get to the bottom of it, you need to see what factors are common to the buyer’s grievances. The best data visualization tools are capable of producing graphic depictions of the data based upon that query to help you see the commonalities at a glance.
Clarity: You want the best information possible, as quickly as possible, without having to wade through a sea of insignificant details. In other words, the visualizations the platform produces should be informative, accurate, relevant and clear.
Intuitiveness: The data presented should be readily decipherable by anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the subject at hand. To aid in this, the presentation should be pleasing to the eye and colorful in a way that helps draw the user to the most important data. Above all, it should deliver an accurate summation of the key information in an easily understood manner.
Animation: A bit of movement helps to draw the user’s attention in the direction you’d like it to go. Advanced data visualization tools incorporate dynamic data along with linked multidimensional visualization and animation to accomplish this.
Easy Integration: It’s absolutely critical to ensure whatever data visualization tool you choose is capable of functioning seamlessly in your environment. This means it needs to be compatible with the platforms you already have in place, as well as the types of data you need to present. It is also critical to consider the level of expertise of the members of your team who will be charged with using it.
Simplicity: It’s human nature to want the most powerful tool available for any given situation. However, power without control can be a recipe for disaster. Go overboard and you’ll force your users to contend with a learning curve steeper than might be required for your particular circumstance. Rather than looking to go all out, take careful stock of your needs and tailor your tool specifically to them, with a bit of room built in to scale as you grow.
These are the primary traits for which to look in the best data visualization tools for your purposes. Keep in mind; a data visualization tool is a tool. It’s important to consider the people who will be using it, as well as the nature of the data it will interpret. The good news is most vendors offer free trials to give you an opportunity to see if their product is a good fit. Take advantage of these before making a final decision.
If you like the content, we would appreciate your support by buying us a coffee. Thank you so much for your visit and support.