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Why Your Brain Needs Data Visualization

Why Your Brain Needs Data Visualization

This is a well-known fact nowadays: a goldfish has higher attention span than an average Internet user. That’s the reason why you’re not interested to read huge paragraphs of text. Research by Nielsen Norman Group showed that Internet users have time to read at most 28% of the words on a web page. Most of them read only 20%. Visual content, on the other hand, has power to hold your attention longer.

If you were just relying on the Internet as a casual user, not reading all the text wouldn’t be a problem. However, when you have a responsibility to process information, things get more complicated. A student, for example, has to read several academic and scientific studies and process a huge volume of data to write a single research paper. 65% of people are visual learners, so they find text difficult to process. The pressuring deadline will eventually lead the student to hiring the best coursework writing service. If they present the data visually, however, they will need less time to process it and gettheir own ideas for the paper.   

Let’s explore some reasons why your brain needs that kind of visualization.

1.     Visual Data Triggers Preattentive Processing

Our low-level visual system needs less than 200-250 milliseconds to accurately detect visual properties. That capacity of the brain is called pre-attentive processing. It is triggered by colors, patterns, and forms. When you use different colors to create data visualization, you emphasize the important details, so those are the elements your eye will first catch. You will use your long-term memory to interpret that data and connect it with information you already know. 

2.     You Need a Visual Tier to Process Large Volumes of Data

When you’re dealing with production or sales, you face a huge volume of data you need to process, compare, and evaluate. If you represented it through a traditional Excel spreadsheet, you would have to invest countless hours looking through the tiny rows of data. Through data visualization, you can interpret the information in a way that makes it ready for your brain to process.

3.     Visual Data Brings Together All Aspects of Memory

The memory functions of our brain are quite complex. We have three aspects of memory : sensory, short term (also known as working memory) and long term. When we first hear, see, touch, taste, or smell something, our senses trigger the sensory memory. While processing information, we preserve it in the working memory for a short period of time. The long-term memory function enables us to preserve information for a very long time.

Visual data presentation connects these three memory functions. When we see the information presented in a visually-attractive way, it triggers our sensory memory and makes it easy for us to process it (working memory). When we process that data, we essentially create a new “long-term memory folder” in our brain.

Data visualization is everywhere. Internet marketing experts understood it, and the most powerful organizations on a global level understood it, too. It’s about time we started implementing it in our own practice.

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