Data Visualization For Dummies
Part technical manual and part analytical guidebook, Data Visualization For Dummies is the perfect tool for transforming dull tables and charts into high-impact visuals your audience will notice...and remember. Mico Yuk is founder of BIBrainz.com and BIDashboardFormula.com. She is a Business Intelligence coach, global keynote speaker, and analytics blogger. Stephanie Diamond is a former marketing director for AOL, founder of MarketingMessageMindset.com, and the author of seven business books, including Social CRM For Dummies.
Data Visualization For Dummies
Introducing Data Visualization
In This Chapter
Delving into data visualization
Deploying data visualizations for your audience
Embracing the data visualization design process
If you're reading this book, you're probably interested in finding better ways to visualize your information. When you help people visualize the meaning of data, you add tremendous value to any organization. In this chapter, we look at what data visualization is and what it means to different groups.
When it comes to gaining valuable insight in a company setting, the use of data visualization is critical. Companies are desperate to view and learn from their Big Data. Data visualization, however, is a growing field with a critical shortage of true experts.
Big Data refers to the voluminous amounts of information that can be collected from social media data as well as internal company data. Analyzing and extracting insights from it is the goal.
After reading this book, you'll be able to help fill that role for your company, whether you're building your first data visualization or your hundredth one.
Understanding Data Visualization
Here's a simple definition of data visualization: It's the study of how to represent data by using a visual or artistic approach rather than the traditional reporting method.
Two of the most popular types of data visualizations are dashboards and infographics, both of which use a combination of charts, text, and images to communicate the message of the data. The practice of transforming data into meaningful and useful information via some form of visualization or report is called Business Intelligence (BI).
Understanding the importance of data viz
Data visualizations (you can call them data viz for short) are widely used in companies of all sizes to communicate their data stories. This practice, known as BI, is a multibillion-dollar industry. It continues to grow exponentially as more companies seek ways to use their big data to gain valuable insight into past, current, and future events.
With the recent popularity of social media and mobile apps, the amount of data that's generated on a moment-to-moment basis is astounding. For this reason, many companies find that making sense of that data requires the use of some form of data visualization. It's virtually impossible to view 1 million rows of data and try to make sense of it!
Imagine going out to your garage every morning, jumping into your car, and then heading to work blindfolded. Chances are that you wouldn't make it past the driveway without having an accident. The same is true for a company that lacks insight into what its data is telling it. This lack of insight is dangerous, and its ramifications could be quite costly, both short- and long-term. Therefore, it's critical that companies use their data to gain insights about their performance.
This book focuses specifically on data visualizations that contain intelligent data (data that is actionable) and that provide some value to a company by enabling a person or group of people to make faster decisions based on that data.
Discovering who uses data viz
Data visualizations are for everybody. All of us use them, whether or not we realize it. If you use apps on your smartphone, for example, chances are that you depend on data visualizations to make critical decisions on an almost daily basis. Do you ever use a weather app to determine how to dress for that day? If you open the app and see a cloud with lightning at the top of the app, you have a good idea that it's going to be a stormy, rainy day without having to read any data about temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity.
This example shows you how a simple visual helps you gain quick insight and make a quick decision (in this case, to wear a raincoat and carry an um