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4 Business Benefits of Data Visualization

Guest blog post by Sreeram Sreenivasan

Each year, the amount of data being created is increasing tremendously. Due to the massive availability of data, businesses are becoming more & more number-driven in their decision making.

However, all this data that’s being created by people & devices doesn’t provide executives and other decision makers with valuable insights on its own. It must be organized and analyzed to get any meaningful value. To discover new business opportunities, business leaders & executives need to be able to analyze and interpret data in real-time.

Data visualization techniques & tools offer key stakeholders and other decision makers, the ability to quickly grasp information hiding in their data.

Here are the top five benefits that data visualization provides to organizations & decision makers.

1. Absorb more information easily

Data visualization enables users to view & understand vast amounts of information regarding operational and business conditions. It allows decision makers to see connections between multi-dimensional data sets and provides new ways to interpret data through heat maps, bullet charts, and other rich graphical representations. Businesses that use visual data analytics are more likely to find the information they are looking for and sooner than other companies. A survey by Aberdeen Group found that managers in organizations that use visual data discovery tools are 28 percent more likely to find relevant information compared to those who rely only on managed dashboards & reporting.

2. Discover relationships & patterns between business & operational activities

Data visualization enables users to effectively see patterns and relations that occur between operations and business performance. It’s easier to see how your day-to-day tasks impact your overall business performance, and find out which operational change triggered the growth/dip in business performance.

Data visualization allows you to see historical trends in the key performance metrics, like monthly sales, of your business. This allows you to compare the current performance with the past, and forecast the future. You can even break it out by various components that drive the metric, such as the sales by various sources or regions. Further, you can drill down to see their historical trends and contributions.

This allows the executives to identify the reason for growth and repeat it, or find the root cause of the dip and fix it.

3. Identify emerging trends faster

The amount of customer & market data that companies are able to gather can provide key insights into new business & revenue opportunities. To avoid getting lost in the mountain of data, it needs to be simplified. That’s where data visualization comes in. Data visualization enables decision makers to spot changes in customer behavior and market conditions more quickly. For example, a supermarket chain can use data visualization to see that not only do customers spend more as macro-economic conditions improve, but they increasingly purchase ready-made foods.

4. Directly interact with data

Data visualization enables you to bring actionable insights to the surface. Unlike tables and charts which can only be viewed, data visualization tools enable users to interact with data. For example, a canned report or Excel spreadsheet can inform an executive for an automotive company that sales for its sedans are down for a particular month. However, it won’t inform her why sales of the sedans are down. Using real-time data visualization, the executive can view the latest sales figures and see which models of sedans are underperforming and the reason for drop in sales – discount offered by competitors. The executive can take action to respond quickly. For example, she might launch a 15-day sales promotion for specific dealerships where sales numbers have dipped.

Empowering executives with data visualization can provide new ways of looking at business strategy & operations, and enable senior management to drive business performance better.

About the author:

Sreeram is the founder of Ubiq, a web-based Business Intelligence & Reporting Application.

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