Converting data into visuals has been a part of humanity since early days. Cavemen scrawled their stories on walls of caves and hunts. The earliest data table known to man was created in the 2nd century. The table involved astrological information to help with navigation. Understanding data arrangement was easier because of its visual structure. Fast-forward to a few years ahead. The Cartesian coordinate system – the X and Y axis graph, was the well-known format of data visualization. Rene Descartes created this is the 17th century.
To better comprehend data, the education system introduced Venn diagrams, pie charts, graphs, and line drawings. Academic courses on graphing data came into being in 1913 at Iowa State University in the U.S. This formally elevated data visualization to a science. In 1977, Princeton University took an even bigger leap. Most importantly, their concept of exploratory data analysis and forever changed our interaction with data sets.
Today we’re dealing with big data. It’s expected that only 6% of all data comes from books and printed materials. The other 94% is digital. A massive 90% of all data has been created and stored digitally within just the past 3 years. Additionally, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated daily. In short, this just adds to the amount of data we have available to us. Data visualization essentially takes raw data and shapes it to tell a visual story. Most importantly, it offers actionable insights to aid business decisions.
Need for visual?
“Every single pixel should testify directly to the content.”
- Edward Tufte, Statistician, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science – Yale University
Will you be able to interpret tons of data easily if it was just put into rows and columns? Data visualization ensures you have your audience’s attention. Above all, it allows you to do so by relying on human beings’ natural affinity for certain cues. Besides, today we receive five times as much information as we did in 1986. That’s an astonishing leap and a lot for anyone to grasp. Consequently, there’s an even greater need to understand this data.
Visual trends help plan for the future and utilize less time and energy for data analysis. The big picture leaps right out at you. It uncover patterns, trends, subtle correlations and relationships between various elements of the business. 28% of managers that use visual data discovery tools are more likely to find relevant information than their counterparts who rely only on managed dashboards and reporting, says an Aberdeen Group survey.
Data visualizations have empowered the average person to access data insights without having to rely on data scientists. Your finance or marketing teams can pursue goals swiftly and in an informed manner. You can also share status updates, and more with clients and other teams. This is because data visualization is not only easy to disseminate but is much more responsive than a spreadsheet.
You can discover the outliers in your data and eliminate them to ensure they do not skew the results with graphics. And if you’re preparing for a big presentation and need to retain a lot of data, visuals help highlight the important parts.
Where is this all heading?
The vast amount of data out there is only going to continue to increase. And it brings with it plenty of opportunities. As the world becomes more interconnected, the need for data visualization will also grow.
Technology will enhance our data visualization capabilities. For instance, the vast majority of today’s data visualizations are 2D. But this is evolving with the creative use of color and size, and a combination of space, time, and advanced computer graphics. Neuroscientists Emmanuelle Tognoli and Scott Kelso created a 5D model, the 5D colorimetric technique. This technique illustrates a dynamic and comprehensive view of brain activity.
Data visualization will improve the interaction between humans, machines, and the environment. Our visuals will grow more complex. So will data. But our understanding will get better with information that is simple to comprehend. Applications will evolve. However, the future of data visualization is expansive and bright. What your business chooses to do with it will determine your level of success.
At Netlink, we understand the need to harness the power of data. Hence, we created Lumenore. Your own platform for simple data visualizations.
Lumenore is a next-gen business intelligence & analytics platform designed for B2C companies to improve customer interaction, experience and revenue. Blended with integration and customization services, the platform delivers all you need to make informed business decisions. Leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, and Robotic Processor Automation, Lumenore utilizes a common dataset to feed its powerful platform to visualize, analyze, actionize, as well as monetize business operations.
Talk to us today to learn more about Lumenore! Schedule a demo