Data visualization can make it easier to communicate and interpret data that is difficult to understand -- as it helps humans comprehend meaning, reveal patterns, identify outliers, and draw actionable conclusions -- making it a critical tool in business.
In this article, learn about data visualization, how it can help your business, and what makes a data visualization “good”.
Benefits of Data Visualization
Helps With Decision-Making
How can data visualization help in decision-making? First, it helps increase people's understanding of the topic at hand. When you are explaining complex information in terms of numbers and raw data, it can be difficult to fully understand and absorb this information, especially in SEO and marketing.
However, with visualization of data, it makes it easier to understand the information more quickly, which can lead to improved and more efficient decision making.
Not only does it help you make decisions more quickly, but it can also help you make better, more impactful decisions. With data visualization, it is easier to understand the findings and act on them. This means you will have easy access to good information that will help you prevent mistakes.
For example, the table with data below might be helpful if you wanted to export the data yourself for an analysis or if you were looking for just a single number for a given month and channel, but it’s less helpful for quick insights to aid decision-making:
Helps Identify Misleading Information
How can you tell if a graph is misleading? While data visualization can help you interpret information more easily, sometimes people can alter graphs and other forms of visualization to make the information misleading.
There are a few ways that you can identify misleading information in a graph. First, you want to be sure that a graph is labeled properly. If it is unclear what each axis represents, you may need to find a clearer way to portray your information.
Next, you want to be sure that a graph is to scale. Otherwise, it can be easy to make data appear more significant than it is. For example, the y-axis in the chart below should begin at 0% -- instead, it starts at 75%:
In other cases, maybe this was just a simple, one-off mistake that you can catch and fix now. Either way, make sure your visualizations are clear and accurately representative of the data set.
Finally, you want to be sure that the labeling of your visual data is not misleading or biased. Make sure each graph you use clearly states its purpose without trying to change its meaning. Remember, never alter visualizations for the sole purpose of better representing a story you want to tell. Let the data do the talking for itself and when it does -- listen!
It’s critical that your titles don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, keep things simple and self-explanatory vs overly complicated or misleading.
Improves Data Storytelling
Why is storytelling important in business marketing? It is a vital part of a business because it helps connect brands with their customers.
Rather than spouting off facts, storytelling allows you to create a narrative that is based on facts to help you better communicate about your business.
Using data visualization techniques can also improve storytelling by keeping your audience's interest. When they have information that is easy to understand and interesting to look at, they will pay more attention.
Not only does it help people communicate information, but it also helps distribute information more easily.
Another huge benefit of data visualization is that it helps identify trends over time. Having information and data from your past can help create projections of what your numbers will look like in the future.
When you have your data in a graph or chart in front of you, it is much easier to identify trends and see what is working for your business.
Focuses on Correlations in Relationships
Next, visualizing data can help you identify correlations in relationships. This allows you to see how two variables are related to each other and can help you make more sense of the independent variables in your data.
This also helps you make better decisions for your business, as it can help you make predictions for your future. If you can use one variable to predict others by understanding their correlation, you will be able to use your data to the advantage of your business.
Data Visualization Tips
💡 Learning how to display data in a visual way can help your business improve your storytelling, show trends, and more.
Want to continue exploring the benefits of data visualization? Here are a few resources we recommend:
- How to Analyze Your Data for Decision-Making
- Give Data a Chance: How to Convey the Importance of Data to Stakeholders
- Get to the Point: How to Turn Analytics Reports into Billboards