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Art of BI: The Benefits of Data Visualization

Christian Screen | | February 7, 2017

Data visualization is a method of using software tools, techniques, infographics, and raw computing power to create a visual understanding of data. It is emerging as a specialized part of Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics that has gone beyond the realm of static reporting.

Data visualization has increased in popularity over the years giving rise to many different analytics tools like Oracle Visual Analyzer, Tableau, Carto, Datawrapper, and more. Our recent white paper, Data Visualization and Discovery in Oracle Analytics, gives a comprehensive overview of the data visualization tools available for the Oracle Analytics suite of products and how these empower analytics practices. For the purposes of this blog post, let’s discuss the overarching benefits of data visualization.

We’re all familiar with the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is the concept upon which data visualization is built. Humans are very visually driven so we may often find that while our natural “go-to” for sharing data may be to present reports or dashboards, often a data visualization works better. Here’s why:

More Is Less

Visualizations of data can relay large quantities of information in a small amount of space. This means that large data sets that could take hours to pour through in a tabular format can be viewed and interpreted quickly and efficiently.

Focused on Interactivity

Almost all relevant data visualization tools take advantage of HTML5 web technology, which allows for a web browser independent, lightweight deployment architecture. This gives great capability to the software to interact with the “web” at large and to enable a multitude of interactive functions such as drag and drop, range selection, and data integration with other third-party systems. With all the data in one place, it’s much easier to tie together disparate information, make unexpected connections between data points, and gain insight into the “why” and “how” of results.

Actionable Insights

With most data visualization tools being interactive, it’s easy to manipulate the data bringing accurate insights to the surface quicker so action can be taken. As mentioned before, the best data visualization tools allow interaction and interoperability to make use of other third-party systems in order to turn insights into action.

New Points of View

The interactive component of data visualization also means that alternative viewpoints can be quickly explored. Questions and ideas can be answered and articulated to gain a more comprehensive view of problems or to discover connections in information you did know existed.

Better Understanding

When you have more data that can be accessed quicker and manipulated readily to present alternative points of view accurately, all of this results in better understanding of how your business is truly working in order to achieve determine top (sales) or bottom (cost) line impacts.

To read more about data visualization in discovery, be sure to download our white paper. What do you think are the greatest benefits of data visualization? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.


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