Data visualization is essential for modern organizations who are faced with large data sets that need to be consumed and understood daily to make critical business decisions. Data today can be manifest itself in multiple forms such as simple figures, hundreds of lines of code, or large data banks of unorganized information. Creating data visualizations is not an easy task, and is not as easy as plotting multiple points on a scatter chart.
This is where data visualization tools step in. Data designers today leverage multiple data visualization tools to create accurate visual representations of large data sets which can then be consumed by decision-makers and key stakeholders alike. Presented in the form of visually-arresting dashboards, annual reports, sales and marketing collaterals, investor decks, and many other formats, having data visualization capabilities within your organization will offer an ROI of $13.01 on every dollar spent. Companies with access to advanced analytical capabilities and data visualization tools are 5 times more likely to make correct decisions much faster than their peers.
The human brain, as wonderful as it is, was never designed to translate binary code or digest tons of written information. Data visualizations on the other hand play to our brains' strengths, allowing them to process visuals 60,000 times faster than they do text. This fast and efficient transfer of information also makes your business more effective in the long run. Some of the most common use cases of data visualization include -
Some of the key data visualization categories which are leveraged by modern-day businesses include -
Ideal for one-dimensional data sources which are also linear. These are the most common types of visualization techniques and include -
This type of visualization is best suited if you're looking to display multiple clusters of information, especially which flow from a single origin point. This includes -
When faced with a large number of datasets connected deeply with other datasets, network visualizations are extremely helpful in demonstrating relationships. They include -
Whenever there are two or more variables to analyze and crunch, this kind of visualization helps to put things in a 3D data perspective. Because of the many concurrent datasets, these visuals are the best when it comes to breaking down a ton of data to its key takeaways. Examples include -
As the name suggests, this kind of visualization is directly related to real-life locations and usually different data points on maps. It is most commonly used to display sales, acquisitions, market penetration, mergers, and other important data on a geographic scale over time. Examples include -
The best data visualization tools have many things in common. Not only do they need to be simple to use, but are also supported by excellent documentation and handy tutorials which allow you to master all the tools at hand easily. Other key criteria are that these tools need to handle large sets of data without losing it or crashing. They also need to have multiple output options such as charts, graphs, and maps.
The best data visualization tools also include both OSV (open-source visualization) tools as well as proprietary licensed solutions. A key thing to remember is that in the world of business intelligence or BI, open-source does not necessarily mean easy, free, or DIY tools. These open-source tools are more often than not incredibly powerful. Let's have a look at some of the best OSV as well as license-based visualization tools in the market right now -
Tableau is one of the most prominent data analytics and visualization tools in the market right now. Tableau has multiple offerings under its belt and has created a new niche for self-service BI which anyone can leverage without heavy outside assistance. It also has a free version called Tableau Public, which offers most of the key visualization capabilities of the fully-licensed version, including Gantt charts, treemaps, etc.
ParaView is one of the most robust open-source platforms for data visualization analytics, especially for seasoned data scientists. This tool supports file storage spaces distributed over multiple locations and can perform parallel processing on petabytes of datasets for advanced analytics.
Whatagraph is ideal for marketing agencies and provides an easy way to report marketing campaign data in a visually distinct manner. The visual data created is easy to comprehend, and seamlessly integrates with more than 40 top digital marketing platforms. It also has endless customization options for modern digital marketer.
There are many other data visualization tools available in the market, each with its own feature sets that can prove beneficial to you. Some of the more prominent ones include -
With a plethora of data visualization options available at hand, how do you choose what's best for you? Let us compare the core feature sets in a way that is easy to understand, and can help you make up your mind.
Most tools are fully featured and have their own set of advantages. Some tools need a little digging into and are not for everyone
Most licensed tools fit a core business requirement. So data scientists will need different software and business analysts a different one
Can handle extremely complex datasets, and are continuously improved
Depending upon your requirement you can choose tools which can deal with your exact requirement
The best part about open source software is the development community always making the tool better. But this also means you never have a fully formed software
Most licensed tools are nowadays SaaS-based and hosted on the cloud, ensuring rapid backend updates which don't break anything
Can be easily integrated with 3rd party software and reporting dashboards
Most have a cohesive 3rd party software support, but some do not so always check before buying
At Flatworld, we believe that data visualization and analytics is a key area for any modern-day business. A comprehensive data visualization tool can help you spot trends, track your achievements, figure out where the market is going, and compare performance across products and other categories.
We specialize in creating custom open-source or proprietary data visualization tools that are cloud-first, mobile, and extremely social from the get-go. We help you stay ahead of the competition with our strategic implementation solutions which fit your requirements and help drive business goals. To know more about our data science offerings, contact us now!