The Dish on Data Visualization

Infographics haven’t disappeared, they’ve just gotten an upgrade.

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We’ll be honest—math was never our favorite subject. But that doesn’t mean we don’t like data. And in today’s world data is hot. Like HOT-HOT. Why? Well those numbers, that information, help agencies, creators and the like verify that the work they are doing is accomplishing what they said it would. So how can we bridge our love of facts that back up our work with our trepidation with math? Data visualization, baby!

What is data visualization exactly?

Just like custom publishing has morphed into content marketing, data visualization may be better known by some as infographics. People have been using visual representations of information—think pictures and graphs and maps—for a really long time. Of course, as with most things, technology really kicked things up a notch.

Even for those folks that simply adore math, processing tons of numbers on a spreadsheet is a challenge. Data visualization can help. By creating an image or picture to explain lots of complex data everyone is better able to understand what exactly is going on.

Why should you consider data visualization?

There are four big reasons why data visualization can be a good thing for any type of company looking to impart information to their clientele:

  1. Data visualization lets you see a lot of information in a very concise, fast way that is simple to grasp.
  2. What is trending practically rules our world now, and data visualization can show you what’s popular, allowing you to capitalize on that information. It also lets you spy coming problems, and fix any issues before they get out of hand.
  3. You may think you understand all the patterns and relationships in your business and between you and your consumer. However, it is likely that data visualization may uncover something that you missed previously.
  4. Finally, good quality data visualization helps you share your company’s story in an easy-to-understand way.

Where is data visualization going?

A major way that infographics have changed on their way to becoming known as data visualization revolves around companies understanding why an infographic is cool and helpful. Gone are the days when you had to sell a client on what an infographic could do for them.

But as data visualization has become more accepted, it has also gone a bit corporate. One reason is today software is available that allows people to make infographics. In the early days of data visualization, designers had to create code to produce their infographics. Today programs like D3 or Tableau offer drag and drop infographic templates.

Finally, as more and more of us go online via are mobile devices, data visualization is having to shift to working on a smaller screen. According to cnn.com, approximately 50 percent of web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets now.

Whether you call it an infographic or data visualization, the art of turning data into pictures is still going strong and has a lot to offer.