Data visualization: the most effective way to convey information

October 5, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Image: Vital Shpakouski

News, facts, figures: modern man is overloaded with information flow. The idea of ​​this has long turned into a cliché but has not lost its relevance. This is why data visualization is needed. It captures attention, makes it easier to understand, and communicates to the audience what you want to convey in the shortest possible time.

Let's figure out what it is, what are the basic principles and why it is needed at all.

What is it

It is the presentation of information in a graphical form, such as charts, pictures, or pictograms. It allows you to show a lot of things in a concise, understandable form, even for non-specialists. And visually presents the key findings that are important for the presentation.

Information in graphical form surrounds us everywhere, and in most cases it greatly simplifies life. At least it definitely reduces the load on our brain.

For example, 20-minute detailed analysis of a football match can be replaced by a visual presentation of information in the form of a pivot table: all statistics are visible at once, and it is easy to quickly draw a conclusion about how the game went.

Why is it needed

There are many studies confirming the effectiveness of the influence of images on the human brain. It is much more interesting and exciting for a person to look at and analyze graphs and images than long boring text or hundreds of monotonous rows of tables.

In business, this works in much the same way as in everyday life. Data visualization methods are a great tool for a wide variety of fields:

  • in the presentation of the company, products, or services to potential customers;
  • development of reports and interactive dashboards for business;
  • for public speaking or scientific lecture;
  • to present the results and conclusions of the study;
  • for promotional materials and many other tasks when you need to convey an idea to the audience in a concise and accessible way.

Types of data visualization

In order for the graphical representation to be understandable and useful, it is important to choose the right type of image. And it’s also smart to use it in any situation. The analyst's working toolkit includes all the elements, techniques, and tools necessary for this. Let's take a closer look at the main ones.

Graphs

They are used when it is necessary to display the dynamics of changes in an indicator over time. This is the most familiar and very visual type of data visualization, familiar to us from school, so it is always popular and widely used.

Diagrams

Each type of analysis has its own diagram. If you want to show a rating, that is, who is better, who is more, and what is more expensive, then use bar charts. If you need to show the structure of the whole, a pie chart (the familiar "pie" divided into sectors) will help.

Flowcharts

These are graphical models that describe processes or sequential algorithms, each stage of which is depicted as a block with text or an icon. This way of visualizing information can also be used to describe a hierarchical system, such as an organizational structure or a family tree.

Tables and matrices

On dashboards, they are usually used in cases where you need to show parameters or text values ​​that are independent of each other (for example, full names or titles).

  • Table is a two-dimensional array of data, that is, there are only two parameters (rows and columns) and a set of indicators at their intersection.

  • Matrix is ​​also a table, but more advanced, as it can include groups of rows and/or columns.

Services for data visualization

For different purposes and tasks, their implementation tools are used. The simplest flowchart can be built even in Word, and designers create colorful infographics in their sophisticated graphic editors.

Information visualization technologies in the field of analytics are primarily services for creating dashboards. Quite a high-quality interactive report can be made in good old Excel, but there are other tools on the market for similar tasks as well as professional data visualization services.

Among the most famous tools:

  • Google Data Studio
  • Power BI
  • Tableau

Conclusion

The main goal of data visualization is to convey thoughts and ideas to the audience as quickly, clearly, and excitingly as possible with the help of drawings, graphs, and diagrams. These methods and tools can be used in almost any field where you need to share ideas, conclusions, or data.

E.Brown