If you’re looking to tell a story about your business, the chances are high that you’re going to need to count on data in order to help tell that story. This is because big data can help you communicate your strengths, weaknesses, and challenges objectively by harnessing information about how many units you’ve sold or how many clicks an advertisement has had. That being said, using data to tell a story about your company is just part of the puzzle—visuals are often just as important as the numbers you’re using.
Humans are able to understand graphical representations in a much faster and more visceral way than if they were just looking at an Excel spreadsheet. This is because visuals can give data important meaning and context, allowing viewers to draw important conclusions about the data set in a manner of seconds. There’s a wide range of ways to visualize data using familiar and unfamiliar means. Here are five of the spiffiest ways to create infographics and charts that make it easier to perform business analytics.
One of the most common types of visualization options for your data, bar charts let you chart different categories based on certain data points. For example, if you wanted to analyze where web traffic was coming from, you could present the number of users based on different referrer domains, like your email campaigns, display ads, organic search engine results, and different social media platforms. Bar charts can also be used to illustrate the popularity of certain products based on how many items you’ve sold in a given timeframe.
Line charts are another common form of visualization. One of the most common reasons to use a line graph is to illustrate how different aspects of your business have changed over time. This can help you identify trends since, if the line graph goes up over time, that’s generally positive, and if it goes down, it could mean that you’re in a downward slope. Multiple line graphs layered year-over-year can also help you notice sales patterns, such as a spike in sales around the holidays.
Heat maps are a great way of understanding patterns in user behavior. Oftentimes, heat maps are employed for web development and app development, as they can help you better understand the way a user’s interacting with your software or website by highlighting the most common elements that are clicked on.
Pie charts, also known as pie graphs, are helpful if you’re analyzing what percentage of something is related to certain categories. For example, you might want to know about your audience’s age demographics, and displaying this information as a pie chart is one of the best ways to quickly visualize how valuable certain constituent groups are.
Scatter plots are a valuable way to display data related to two different variables. This can make it easier to identify correlations, such as support requests as they relate to an operating system or sales related to temperature. When you need to understand the relationship between two data points, a scatter plot is incredibly helpful.
Data visualization tools can help you create any of the above charts to better represent the parts of your business that matter most. Whether it’s an analytics dashboard or the option of having interactive visualizations that offer responsive representations of different segments of your customers, data visualization tools are a major boon for enterprises that regularly deal with a high volume of data. Data visualization tools allow your business to better understand and talk about its metrics, regardless of if you’re looking at sales data or new customer acquisition. From banking and telecommunications to retail and manufacturing, data visualization has a role to play in all kinds of industries.