What is data visualization?

Effectively using the data your organization collects and analyzes becomes more complex as the volume and number of data sources grow. Data visualization — the representation of data via graphics like charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams — is the key to gaining and sharing insights from voluminous and complex data analysis. Data visualization tools make it easier to understand the context of patterns, disparities, and relationships to identify trends and opportunities hidden in the data.

Why is data visualization important?

The importance of data visualization is that it helps you better understand and share what your data means to your business. The human brain can process visual information faster and more efficiently than written information, which is why data visualization is a key component in practical decision-making. By creating an effective visual representation of data, you can quickly convey insights and take action faster. Other benefits of data visualization include:

Spot trends & patterns easily

It’s easier to identify trends and outliers from data presented in a visual format than it is to wade through spreadsheets or text.

Draw insights quicker

Data visualization makes the complexities of data sets clear. When trends or patterns are easier to spot, data analysis becomes less complicated and allows people to draw insight faster. Watch our webinar to learn about how to build impactful dashboards that will help your team surface meaningful insights.

Make faster connections between insights and strategy

Data visualization helps organizations understand data and its correlations to problems. This understanding enables more efficient identification of root causes and faster problem-solving. Gaining insight from data allows you to solve specific business problems more effectively.

Interpret data in different ways

Data visualization allows your data to tell a story. Using the right visualization to illustrate that story is imperative. Data visualization tools allow you to choose a graphic visualization to tell that story — no matter if you want to compare values, show composition, understand a range of values, illustrate a trend, discover outliers, or compare relationships to different sets of data.

Types of data visualization

There are many types of data visualization graphics you can choose to convey information from your data. The data visualization you use will impact how people understand your data and what decisions they make based on that understanding. You can learn how to choose the best chart or graph for your needs more easily. Here’s a short list of different types of charts and graphs:

  • Area chart
  • Bar chart
  • Box plot
  • Bubble chart
  • Column chart
  • Column histogram
  • Donut chart
  • Grouped column chart
  • Heat map
  • Line chart
  • Pie chart
  • Scatter plot
  • Stacked bar chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Stacked percent chart
  • Table

Learn more