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Today, every business, regardless of its size, deals with massive amounts of data. In fact, one can safely say that data is essential to the survival and progress of organizations. An Experian report says that over 90% of business executives believe that data plays a key role in forming business strategies.
However, data is only beneficial if you can make sense of and derive crucial insights out of it. Business executives have been trying to find ways to transform data and statistics into valuable intel that can be used to make decisions.
In recent years, tools like Power BI and Tableau have emerged as business solutions that allow users to convert data into neat visualizations. Modern data visualization tools are well-suited in dealing with huge chunks of data, organizing them, and transforming them into something meaningful.
Simply put, data visualization is the procedure of converting data into meaningful visual forms. But why are businesses so keen to do it? In this article, we will discuss how data visualization services can transform the way you do business.
One of the primary strengths of machine learning is the ability to process unstructured, raw data. However, plain text sometimes makes it difficult to portray or understand the results derived from data processing.
For instance, you have a tool that assesses social media traffic to determine your brand’s public perception. Now, the findings of that tool can either be in the form of a 150-page report or just a few well-designed visuals.
If you want a room full of customers, buyers, or potential investors to know that your business is growing, you will want the message to go across smoothly and clearly. The best way to do it would be to present the data in the form of visually-pleasing, simple bar charts, or line graphs. On the flip side, no investor or customer has the time to flip through hundreds of pages of dry numbers and text to see whether it is worth investing in your business or not. The key is to show the message, which is only possible through data visualization.
Data visualization is not restricted to trend charts and graphs, which have been around for decades. In fact, the ability to visualize and operate data sets helps businesses find new connections that they were previously unaware of.
You can identify which business conditions can influence other conditions, and which ones are unrelated. Many of these connections are only noticed upon ‘seeing’ your data.
Say, you are using a regular Excel table with a column each for revenue, expenses, and the sources of those numbers. Such a way of representing data will make it hard for you to derive insights.
On the other hand, depicting the same data through trend lines and charts will enable you to spot, for instance, your most and least profitable months, quarters, and years.
One thing that every business owner will agree upon is that the business world is one of relentless competition. In industries fueled by competition, time is perhaps the single-most-important factor determining business growth.
Let’s say that you and your competitors have a close eye on the industry trends. The business that will dominate the next quarter is the one which can make the correct decision, quickest. Agree?
Data visualization enables you to make better sense of data, such as future predictions and fast trends, in a timely manner. The resulting quicker and more informed decision-making will help your business gain the upper hand over its rivals.
With data visualization, you can contextualize apparently dissimilar bits of information. Looking at the bigger picture allows executives to identify vulnerable areas and act accordingly before those vulnerabilities start materializing.
At the same time, effective visualization will also pinpoint hidden growth opportunities that you can capitalize upon.
It is no secret that a picture is easier to remember than text. It is believed that people remember around 10 to 12 % of what they hear, but over 30% of something they see.
This means that no matter how well-explained your written report is, it will always make a lesser impact on people’s memories than a well-illustrated piece of data.
Organizational resistance is perhaps the biggest hurdle to implementing data analysis in business decision-making. Even though executives understand the importance of data science, they find it too inconvenient to utilize it regularly.
Data visualization can go a long way towards eliminating this hurdle by presenting data in interactive and perceptible formats (instead of in plain text).
It is observed that data-centric organizations generally fare better than organizations that trust their gut instincts for the bulk of their decisions. By prioritizing data visualization and its resulting insights, you can improve your company’s overall performance considerably. This is not to say that intuition does not play a role in decision-making, but that role might not be as substantial as many organizations believe.
In his book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari dedicates an entire chapter to the importance of data and why ‘people who own data, own the future.’ In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the most significant players competed not for oil or gold but for information.
Therefore, businesses must know how to collect, observe, and visualize data adequately. If not, no matter how good your organization might be today, it will not be able to move with the times, and, before you know it, it will cease to exist.
Narwal is a US data visualization company that helps transform businesses by visualizing their data more efficiently. You can contact them today to get a free-of-cost consulting session.