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The importance of data visualization

Originally published at on ・4 min read


In order to make the results of a business intelligence analysis more effective, it is crucial to be able to present the data in the most effective way so that the users can identify the information they are seeking at first glance. The correct visualization of the data not only allows to simplify the search of information, but makes it much more profitable; studies on the cognitive processes of the human brain show that our memory is able to assimilate information much more easily when it is associated with images or other graphic representations. Moreover, using a color rather than another can affect the assimilation of information in a different way.

In Business Intelligence, being able to represent and shape information so that users can get the most profitable interaction with their data, is of paramount importance, otherwise an impossible navigation is guaranteed.

In this article we will go into some essential features on data presentation.

Choosing the right chart

There are many graphs to choose from to represent the data, but extreme care must be taken to find the right correlation between the data and the graph, otherwise you risk making navigation very difficult.

The bar chart:

It is one of the most common graphs that makes the presentation of data highly intuitive. It can be used to represent trends, trends over time, historical maximums or minimums, to compare different categories or simply to represent volumes.

Pie chart:

Also in this case we are talking about a very used and absolutely intuitive graphic. This is used to represent percentages, proportions between an entire category of data. In general, it is useful to use it when at least two kpi cover at least 30% of the total otherwise the representation may not be read immediately. This is a classic example of visual data measurement.

Line chart:

it is very useful for viewing data that changes over time, such as financial and historical data. Line graphs connect a contiguous series of points where each point represents a single measure. Line graphs are widely used to show up and down data over a certain period of time or to evaluate the area below the line.

Heat map:

the visual reading of this graph is very high, it is generally used to make comparisons on two different categories and evaluate the activation frequency through the use of a colors (typically a single color is used that varies between light and dark shades).

Bubble chart:

this type of graph uses the different size of the bubbles to give an idea of ​​the size of a point measurement. It is often associated with a map to graphically show the areas in which a certain characteristic assumes more or less high values ​​based on the radius of the bubble.

Histogram chart:

It is generally used in the same cases as the classic bar chart but in this case the distribution of a measurement within a group is also assessed: for example, using different colors you can get multiple information in a single view.

Gantt diagram:

it is very useful for planning and evaluating the progress of a project over time, managing to view crucial points such as presentation of deliverables, deadlines, chaining activities and division of tasks.

Scatter plot:

it is used to evaluate the relationship between two variables within a Cartesian plane. Generally, it shows the influence of an independent variable on a second variable, highlighting the effect of the relationship – normally of a non-linear type.

Funnel diagram:

The funnel chart is a type of chart that is often used to represent stages in a process (such as a sales process) and show the situation for each stage. It can also be useful for identifying critical issues in a company’s sales processes. In general, this graph is used when there is a process that can be divided into at least 4 phases and the measurement of each phase is greater than the next one.

The use of colors

As well as the choice of the chart, another fundamental element in the data visualization is the correct use of colors both for technical reasons – such as contrasting with the background – and for reasons related to the user’s emotions. In general, our mind is used to associating a color with a specific interpretation. The most striking example is the use of red and green for negative and positive values or alert messages.

It is therefore necessary to choose them appropriately and use a color that is not in contrast with the message we want to convey, but supports it. It is also necessary not to overdo the different shades to avoid creating confusion and making the use of color ineffective or even counterproductive. In general, uniformity must also be sought to ensure continuity in the interpretation.

The organization of the data.

Another important element in data visualization is the correct organization of data. You must take great care of the presentation because the use of a stunning design is not a synonym of effective interpretation. Adding too much information on the same page must be avoided because the user risks to be overwhelmed and fail to see all the salient data; it is good to organize and divide the data into sub-categories and possibly aggregate complementary information. Unnecessary or unsolicited data must not be presented because it can distract from important information or overload with useless information. The organization of data should be linear and logical both to simplify storage and to be easily navigated.

Why agrEGG?

With agrEGG you will have the possibility to choose among the most disparate graphs, our team of experts will be able to support you in the startup phase of your personalized business intelligence tool … your data will always be presented in the most appropriate way.

We will advise you on the correct use of colors, on how to maximize the effectiveness of learning from the data, and make its interpretation simple and intuitive.

Your data will be organized according to your specifications but in a logical and organized way in order to make navigation easy and guarantee immediate reading.

The design will be taken care of by professionals in the sector and your dashboards will be so captivating that they will make your presentations unique.

The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to make the invisible visible.

Hillman Curtis

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