- The need for good visualization is increasing, as data volume and complexity expand. In order to work with high volumes of structured and unstructured data, visualizations, supporting the ability of humans to make perceptual inferences, are of the utmost importance. In this regard, a lot of interactive visualization techniques have been developed in recent years. However, little emphasis has been placed on the evaluation of their usability and, in particular, on design characteristics
Data-driven visuals attract more attention, are easier to understand, and assist in getting your message across to the audience quickly. With the help of descriptive graphics and dashboards, even difficult data can be clear and comprehensible. Why is that? Most people are visual learners. So if you want the majority of your partners, colleagues, and clients to be able to interact with your data, you should turn boring charts into beautiful graphics.
Here are some numbers, based on research, that confirm the importance of visualization:
- People get 90% of information about their environment from the eyes.
- 50% of brain neurons take part in visual data processing.
- Pictures make texts more “readable” up to 80%.
- 65% of the population are visual learners
- If a package insert doesn’t contain any illustrations, people will remember 70% of the information. With pictures added, they’ll remember up to 95%.
Simple ways to make your data notable:
- Infographics: create stunning infographics that boost visitor engagement on your website or blog.
- Slides: present your ideas and showcase your data with striking slides.
- Reports: stand out with interactive marketing reports, sales figures.
- Maps: use map makers to publish professional-quality interactive maps that impress and inform.
- Dashboards: connect your data to easily shareable dashboards that visually track your business.
- Social media visuals: create stunning visuals for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
There are three key things to remember when creating any visualization: keep it simple, tell a story, and engage the audience. Focus on providing only the information necessary in telling your story. Great data visualizations tell stories, that provide insight, outcomes, and actions. Telling a good story is not complex, but the simplicity is where most fail. A great story does not tell you everything, just the things you need to know, an effective visualization should combine both art and science.
Here are visualizations that you should use as inspiration in your own data efforts.
Interactive data visualizations are a great way of engaging the audience without the need for explanation. They are easily created on specific websites for building infographics like infogram.com. Users are also allowed to explore the data themselves and reveal their own insights.
GIFs aren’t just for teenagers, they are also an engaging and snappy way of demonstrating how something changes within a given time frame. GIF can be a good replacement for a video, since it’s much less in size and length, moreover, they are impactful and easy to make.
The importance of color
Color is a vital aspect of a good data visualization. Color itself remains a powerful tool and should always be used to convey a message, apart from making something just prettier and eye-catchy. A heatmap – adding colors that vary in intensity to show relative performance – is a great way to help readers process the imagery faster and uncover patterns.
Immersive new technologies
Immersive data visualization offers easier pattern recognition in big data sets and more intuitive data understanding. Unlike conventional data visualization models that rely on two axes in a spreadsheet, VR allows users to walk around and look at the data from multiple angles, comparing any number of different factors at the same time.
VR works because it focuses your entire field of vision, allowing you to concentrate exclusively on the objective. In early experiments, researchers found that users who interacted with the data through VR reported better retention of perceived relationships within the data than when viewing it through two-dimensional data visualization tools. By being ‘present’ in the data, you can get a true sense of scale which is impossible to achieve when viewing the data on a desktop screen.
Relevant data visualization brings lots of advantages for businesses:
- Fast decision-making. Summing up data is easy and fast with graphics, which let you quickly see that a column or touchpoint is higher than others without looking through several pages of statistics in Google Sheets or Excel.
- Higher degree of involvement. Beautiful and bright graphics with clear messages attract readers’ attention.
- Better data perception. Perfect reports are transparent not only for technical specialists, analysts, and data scientists but also for CMOs and CEOs, and help each and every worker make decisions in their area of responsibility.
- More people involved. Most people are better at perceiving and remembering information presented visually.