Data visualization is a powerful tool in data analysis. It involves the representation of information and data using visual tools like charts, graphs, maps, and more. This technique allows us to easily understand any patterns, trends, or outliers in a dataset. It's particularly useful for presenting data to the general public or specific audiences without technical knowledge in an accessible manner.
The purpose of data visualization is to help drive informed decision-making and to add colorful meaning to an otherwise bland database
. It can be used in many contexts in nearly every field, like public policy, finance, marketing, retail, education, sports, history, and more.
Here are some benefits of data visualization:
- Storytelling: Colors and patterns allow us to visualize the story within the data.
- Accessibility: Information is shared in an accessible, easy-to-understand manner for a variety of audiences.
- Visualize relationships: It’s easier to spot the relationships and patterns within a dataset when the information is presented in a graph or chart.
- Exploration: More accessible data means more opportunities to explore, collaborate, and inform actionable decisions.
In the context of big data, companies collect large amounts of data and synthesize it into information. Data visualization helps portray significant insights—like a heat map to illustrate regions where individuals search for mental health assistance.
Python offers a variety of libraries for data visualization, each with its own strengths and capabilities. Here are some common types of data visualizations you can create in Python using these libraries:
Scatterplot: This is used to find a relationship in bivariate data. It is most commonly used to find correlations between two continuous variables.
Histograms: These are used to plot the frequency of score occurrences in a continuous dataset that has been divided into classes, called bins.
Bar charts: These are used to compare quantities of different categories or groups.
Pie charts: These are used to show the proportion of whole categories or groups.
Line graphs: These are used to display information that changes over time.
Box plots: These are used to show the spread and skewness of data set. It represents the minimum, maximum, median, first quartile and third quartile in the data set.
Heatmaps: These are used to represent magnitude of phenomena as color in two dimensions. It's useful for visualizing variance across multiple variables.
Geographical maps: These are used when we want to plot data that is related to geographical locations.
Popular libraries for creating these visualizations in Python include Matplotlib, Seaborn, Pandas, and Plotly. Each of these libraries has its own syntax and way of creating visualizations, so you'll want to explore each one to see which fits your needs best.