Why Visualize Data #THURSDAYTIPS #NanoPoblano2019

What is Data Visualization? It is the visual presentation of data to inform your target audience.

These data are meant to complement the relevant information you share. They serve as proof or factual evidence to support any claims you have and to help people understand the value of the data being presented.

Image from PCMag.com

The Evolution of Visual Presentations

In the old days, these visualization tools were simple graphs, charts, tables, timelines, and maps. They were materials you could physically touch. Over time, with the arrival of better technology, we learned to make more effective presentations. They were created using computer graphics and online spreadsheets.

In the Internet age, however, visualization tools have become much more sophisticated and interactive. Various software, widgets, Application Program Interface (API), and other programs are used to make them instead.

Today’s data visualization tools include the usual but more detailed charts (bar charts, pie charts), infographics, geographic online maps, and sparklines, which are small designs for numerical and statistical information. Heatmaps are included, too, as they are snapshots that indicate two things: what catches your website visitors’ attention, and where they stay the longest in your site.

The Advantage of Newer Technology

A visualization software helps give people a better idea of your data by showing the relationships between items and the patterns and trends. They can be more detailed, able to show information that would otherwise be missed. Unnoticed details could cause unexpected problems or misinterpretations.

Meanwhile, visuals attract more attention. They help the audience to understand data. People normally get bored with dull and cold presentations. With today’s technology, we are able to maximize a material’s potential while we improve how people interpret our data.

For instance:

With the Timeline JS widget, you can show stunning, interactive timelines to impress people. But it’s not just to impress, rather, to emphasize the significance of the presented data. The timelines can have slideshow and embedabble capabilities.

ZingChart is a feature-rich API and is very interactive. It allows animation to be used in its visuals. People are attracted to visuals and they love animation. ZingChart’s JavaScript library has hundreds of chart types to choose from, which also means hundreds of ways to let your audience digest information. 

TheTableau software updates information in real-time and is great for team collaboration. It allows you to create powerful, beautiful visuals and is very easy to use with its drag and drop ability.

Now MS Excel, Google Charts and Google Sheets maybe “old”, but they are still popular. In fact, they keep up with the modern times quite well—the better to stay competitive. Try out their library of data visualization tools and see that they are not at all behind when it comes to new technology.

The Importance of Data Visualization

The question is, why get these newer tools when you can use the old ones? The problem is, it is not really advisable, especially if information may be lost using the older technology.

You like to inform. You like to write. But how do you make sure your presentation sets you apart and shows you as an authority? Today, content is king. Part of that content are data that, as said earlier, should support any relevant information you share.

 

If you want to be seen as an authority in your field, show it. Make people know you are trustworthy, competent and knowledgeable. Use effective data visualization tools. Remember, though, that being resourceful is good, but it does not necessarily make you an authority. No matter how visually striking the look, if content is lacking, you will only be wasting both your and your audience’s time.

 

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NOTE: This was written in 2018 (never published, at least, not without my consent) so the visualization tools mentioned may not be that updated. Technology changes fast.

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing any product, tool, or company. Any mention was just for information purposes.

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