Data visualization is a way of graphically representing the information contained within data sets large and small. Done right, data visualization can help organizations get the most out of their data to make better decisions and inform their business strategies. Data-driven decision-making is getting more important, so effective data analysis tools from data visualization vendors are a must-have for any company looking to stay ahead of the competition.
The Difference Between Data Visualization Analytics and Other Forms of Analytics
Many business leaders understand the value of making data-driven decisions within their companies but don’t know how to harness data effectively. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the breadth of data analytics tools and methods available today. One stands out from the rest, however — data visualization analytics.
Unlike other forms of analytics, data visualization analytics isn’t overly technical or inaccessible to the average person in your organization. Graphics used in data visualization analytics range from simple images like bar graphs and pie charts to interactive visual dashboards. The main goal of these graphics is to communicate information from data sets in a way that’s easy to understand and analyze. Visualizations help everyone in your company discover and share insights from your data.
Benefits of Data Visualization
Implementing data visualization tools in your business offers a host of benefits, including:
- Making more informed decisions: Because visualizing data helps business leaders explore and understand data sets, using these tools in your company can lead to more informed business decisions. You’ll have concrete, up-to-date data right at your fingertips to facilitate better decision-making.
- Finding hidden patterns in your data: Looking at a large set of raw data, it’s extremely difficult to pull out relevant trends and patterns. Visualizing data helps you see the big picture so you can easily pick up on relationships and trends within the data set.
- Engaging broader audiences: If you want to share findings from your data sets with audiences beyond just your data analysis team and company leadership, data visualization is one of the best ways to do so. Visualizations are engaging and easy to understand, making them ideal to share with team members across your organization. You never know what insights other team members might find in the graphics.
- Finding errors: Errors in your data can lead to inaccurate analysis and suboptimal decision-making. Visualizing your data sets help you quickly pick out errors in your data so they can be excluded from your analysis.
Choosing Data Visualization Vendors
Working with experienced data visualization vendors allows you to reap the benefits of data visualization without having to develop and implement your own data visualization tools from scratch. There are a variety of tools for visualizing data available from top data visualization vendors, including Live Earth.
If you’re interested in working with data visualization vendors, consider the following factors to choose the best one for your company:
Range of Features
Some tools from data visualization vendors only offer basic visualization features such as static graphs and charts. Others include more robust feature sets that allow users to completely customize the visualization design, make fine-grained adjustments, and complete more complex analyses. The most cost-effective option is to choose a visualization tool with a range of features that meets your business needs without too much excess.
Ease of Use
Depending on who in your organization is likely to use data visualization software, you may want software that’s designed to be user-friendly and easy to use. Tools with intuitive interfaces may allow even non-technical users to effectively create data visualizations. If your data analysis team is the only one that will use the software, however, ease of use may be less important to you. It’s still worthwhile to keep in mind that your teams can get up and running faster on intuitive visualization platforms than they can on more confusing, clunky platforms.
Cloud vs. On-Premise Software
In general, there are two types of software — cloud-based software and on-premise software. Cloud-based visualization software is hosted by the data visualization vendor and accessed over the internet. You don’t need to take up your own computing resources to use this software, but you will typically pay a subscription fee for access. By contrast, on-premise data visualization software is installed on your company’s infrastructure and operates on their computing resources. Cloud-based software is the more popular option of the two and definitely the direction of the future.
Data Integration Speed
It’s not enough for your data visualization platform to simply integrate data from all of your company’s various data sources — it needs to do it quickly. The longer it takes your visualization tool to integrate and reflect your data, the more outdated your data visualizations will be. That’s why the best data visualization platforms integrate data in real time or close to it. They need to be able to ingest vast amounts of data quickly in order to provide real-time actionable insights.
A basic data visualization tool will help create graphics for your data, but more advanced tools apply machine learning to automatically spot patterns within your data. Platforms that apply artificial intelligence (AI) to your data are even better equipped to extract value from your data sets.
Your data visualization needs may grow over time. That’s why it’s important to have a data visualization tool that can grow with your business. When you’re comparing data visualization vendors, look into the extensibility of each of the software options. Think about where your business is today but also your plans for the next couple of years and where you might land in the next five years. Ask yourself, “will this tool be able to serve my business well then, too?”
Create Real-Time Dynamic Data Visualizations with Live Earth
Live Earth helps drive your enterprise forward with data visualization of live data streams. By presenting your data in an intuitive display format, Live Earth’s platform can quickly unearth insights and lead to better business intelligence — all in real time. Contact Live Earth today to learn more about the difference high-quality data visualization can make for your enterprise.