A few years ago, the term Big Data Visualisation didn’t exist; companies used many excel spreadsheets with various charts and graphs, often delivering standard but not always structured or engaging management information. The evolution of Business Intelligence (BI) as a principle and the early BI tools provided a deeper insight into an organisation’s data.

​Data sets have undoubtedly grown rapidly over recent years. Businesses now have, and can leverage, more data sources than ever before, so more data can be analysed to provide insight into historical activity and predictions for things like customer behaviour. A Pie chart in excel just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore.

​It’s vitally important for companies to engage in data exploration and then use visual techniques to communicate to non-technical users the importance of data and the results of data analysis. This means organisations are becoming data-driven, with data directly impacting business decision-making and, in some cases, driving it entirely. Data Analysts do a lot of data discovery to identify and include all the data sources available that would be useful for data analysis. This is vital so big data visualisation can tell the full story.​

Telling the story

There are a lot of visual techniques that Data Analysts and Data Visualisation specialists now utilise; things like heat maps can represent the volume sales of a product in a specific geographical location, it can also be used to analyse the areas users click on webpages, for example. Time Series visuals display the changing trends mapped over whatever period you want to analyse. Tools like ElasticSearch allow users to change the parameters to analyse exact time periods via a simple search query.​

Whatever visual is used, charts and graphs, bar charts, heat maps or others, there is a huge emphasis in the industry at the moment on data literacy. So, it’s vital to communicate the findings properly, in a language the business understands, with data relevant to their decision-making. Images, videos and text are used to spruce up the once-dull MI report pack. Also, linking with external data sources, keeping up-to-date real-time dashboards etc., are valuable techniques to explain and display to business leaders.

There are a vast amount of data visualisation tools on the market, from web-based tools like google charts to more enterprise-scale tools like Qlik, Thoughtspot, Tableau and PowerBI. The data viz community uses all these to tell data-driven stories to the business, so they then make data-driven business decisions.

So, why?

Big Data Visualisation is critical in today’s business; big data solutions process data in some cases in real-time; therefore, what the end-user sees and uses must be relevant and fit for purpose. This is where data governance and quality come in; they allow data to travel around the organisation and be used for data analysis without becoming broken, lost or disrupted. This gives the business trust that data, when it has strong data quality and governance place, is producing accurate data-driven decisions by them as senior leaders within the company.

Moreover, big data visualisation is critical to maximising efficiencies and profits and enhancing customer acquisition, retention, journey and engagement. The business can use its external and other data sources to produce amazing analyses and predictions. The data analysis is presented in an understandable, consumable and interesting way via data visualisation and not just another boring pie chart or bar chart stuffed into an excel spreadsheet or report pack.

Therefore, businesses are more engaged with data, become data-driven, and understand concepts not previously known to them through data literacy. Data visualisation allows the business to understand its competitors and improve nearly every way.

If you are looking for a data visualisation job, please talk to the specialist team at Agile Recruit. We have offices in both Manchester and Milton Keynes.

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