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Because we live in a data-driven society, it’s likely that you’re constantly bombarded with complex sets of data that you need to transmit to your coworkers in an easy-to-grasp way.
The challenge is that almost no one wants to look at large lists of numbers and data, and important information can be easily lost within the midst of chaotic spreadsheets. But there is a solution, and that is big data visualization.
Today, we’ll be covering what big data visualization is and why it’s important, different big data visualization techniques you can use, tips and tricks for creating easily intelligible large data sets and the best big data visualization tools you can use.
By the end of this article, you’ll feel like a real data scientist and be competent in creating pie charts, bar charts, heat maps, histograms, interactive charts and more for big data visualization.
So let’s get into it, shall we?
Big data visualization is the representation of large sets of data through visual aids, whether that be through pie charts, heat maps, bar charts or any other kind of chart types or visual representation.
Analyzing and understanding large data sets and data analytics is no easy task and it can be especially difficult trying to relay that same information to colleagues who are not data-driven or data scientists.
That’s where big data visualization comes in. By transforming your large data sets into visually appealing infographics or interactive charts, you can easily convey your data points to fellow decision-makers.
When your data is plotted out on graphs in a visual way and metrics are made easily readable, no data gets lost in the mix, no matter how large or small, and it makes decision-making for the future a breeze.
Because you can’t make adequate decisions or advance significantly without analyzing your raw data, it’s important that companies use great data visualization methods to keep everyone in the loop.
Let’s take BMW for example.
In 2020, BMW was able to track the number of sales for electric cars that they had and then compare it to other car companies’ sales, but not only.
They also were able to track the countries that bought the highest amount of their electric cars.
This is a prime example of big data visualization in action. When you track your analytics and data, you can see where your wins are and when to celebrate or where your losses are and how you can make adjustments for the future.
Now, imagine for a moment that all this information was just written out plainly on a spreadsheet and had unstructured data all over it.
It would be hard to understand and assess how the company is doing and would take a long time to communicate to employees how their work has affected the sales of the cars.
This is why visualizing big data is so important. With just a glance and within seconds, you can easily see what cars are selling best and in what countries.
No time is wasted going through spreadsheets and trying to make sense of unstructured data — just visual analytics laid out for all to see and understand.
We live in a time where the internet and social media have exploded at an extraordinary rate, and information can be gathered within seconds and at the tips of anyone’s fingers.
With the rise of this technological era, it’s important that data can be visualized and consumed quickly and efficiently — especially since the human brain now has an attention span of about 8 seconds, according to this study by the Technical University of Denmark.
Because companies, businesses and organizations can gather data more quickly than ever, this means that they need to be able to visualize that data in an equally quick and easily consumable way.
The best way to efficiently communicate your ever-coming, new data is through visualizing big data. This will bring your complex data to life and anyone who looks at it will be able to understand and grasp it with just a glance.
Take the image above as an example. With just a quick look at the statistics that are clearly visualized, you can make a data-based assumption.
Now, imagine if this data was just written out plainly on a spreadsheet. It would take much longer to understand and make an assumption based on the numbers.
By using big data visualization techniques, you’ll be able to get the most value from your data and analytics and make sure that everyone who says your data analysis will be able to interpret, understand and use your data. This, in turn, will help your company excel.
When you use data visualization techniques, it will optimize your use of data, help decision making and planning go smoothly, you’ll be able to identify and mitigate risk, extract loads of useful data and insights and improve your overall strategy and direction of your company.
There are no losses to using a visual representation of data, only wins. But there are lots of different types of data visualization that you can use.
Let’s discuss the different types of big data visualization and assess which one will work best for you.
There are lots of different types of data visualization that data analysts like to use and depending on the amount of data. A data analyst may choose to use a pie chart to express their numerical data or a bar chart.
When looking at big data analytics regarding locations, one might choose to use an interactive heat map or maybe a pivot table.
We’re going to look at 8 common types of big data visualization and some data visualization examples for each to help you decipher which one will work best for you.
A line chart, also known as a line graph, is a graphic representation of data that plots a fixed value on one side and a variable on the other.
A line chart is a fantastic way to represent the relationship of data. You can use a line chart to represent changes and fluctuations of things within a certain period of time.
A bar chart, also known as a bar graph, uses bars to compare different data points or data sets.
Many data scientists will use bar charts to visually represent their data analysis. You can use a bar chart to compare large amounts of data, fluctuations of quantities or different categories.
The taller the bar, the larger the numerical value and vice versa.
Pie charts, donut charts, circle graphs or whatever you choose to call them, are representations of data that are split into smaller segments and sizes to represent their numerical value.
When you use a pie chart, it becomes easy to see and compare how the different segments relate and differ from each other.
When using a pie chart, try not to overload it with too many different values. When you split the pie chart into more than 7 segments, it can become difficult to understand the data.
A heat map is a visual representation of data that is laid out on a map or table and uses different nuances and intensities of colors to represent its data.
Using a heat map can be especially helpful when you need to analyze data that seems to be never-ending. When you have an extremely wide value range, using a heat map makes it much more simple to quickly visualize and analyze large amounts of complex data at a glance.
A histogram is a graphical and visual representation of complex data sets and the frequency of said numerical data displayed through bars.
Histograms are very similar to bar graphs but vary in the fact that they mostly focus on the repeated frequency of numerical data.
A scatter plot, scatter chart or scatter graph, is a diagram that uses dots to represent and emphasize the different values of two or more numeric variables on an X and Y-axis.
Scatter plots are extremely useful to use when you have multiple large data sets and you want to know how they relate to each other and compare the importance of each value.
Treemaps are the visual representation of hierarchical data by using color-coded rectangles.
Users can use treemaps as a method to compare multiple sets of data and reflect the weight of each value in a project.
Funnel charts are typically used in sales and represent the different stages that your users or customers go through during the sales process and demonstrate decreasing values as they move through your funnel.
By using a funnel chart, you can accurately see where you are losing or gaining your customers during the sales process.
Now that we’ve covered what big data visualization is, its importance and 9 different types of data visualization, you may feel like you’re a professional in data science.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of data visualization, it’s time that we equip you with some of our best data visualization techniques.
Here are our top 5 best data visualization techniques for you to use when creating a visual representation of your data.
You can’t create powerful graphs without a powerful data visualization tool.
Sure, you could use something like Google charts, but to create unique, engaging charts, you’ll want to use a data visualization tool like Visme that's packed with amazing functionality.
Visme is a powerful data visualization tool with many integration functionalities. As you can see in the image above, you can create everything from funnel charts and tables to interactive data maps and graphs in this editor.
When you need to visualize big data, Visme is the way to go. When you create a graph in our big data visualization tool, your data can be updated in real-time with our integration tools.
You can import all your data from Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Google Analytics and other data sources, then see it come to life automatically on your project while you sit back and relax.
Visme also has many open-source elements and graphics for you to use to keep your infographic intriguing. To have the perfect interactive data visualization, you can use word clouds, tables, treemaps, animated characters and graphic design elements and more to implement into your design.
They’re also a powerhouse filled with lots of useful and educational tutorials on how to create the perfect chart for your raw data. Visme also has lots of tutorials for all things graphic design.
So why not use a tool that has everything you need for creating visuals for your data analysis and tons of tutorials to go with it? You can start your free account with Visme today and start living out your data analyst dreams.
It’s important to use a strong data visualization software for your data analysis and presentations. Stick around and soon we’ll get into our list of best tools for big data visualization.
When it comes to visualizing your data, you need to make sure that you choose the correct chart type.
Because there are so many different ways to display your data, you need to weigh out the cons and pros of each and find out which one will work best for your infographic or presentation.
Take for example pie charts and bar graphs.
When you analyze data that is very different, you might want to use a pie chart. But if you want to represent data entries that are close together, you could use a bar chart for that.
If you’re trying to create data visualization for sales, you could use a funnel chart, pyramid chart or cone chart for that.
Each different visualization method has its time and place, and you need to analyze your data and think about what method will work best for your respective data.
Refer above to the “Big Data Visualization Types” section above to see which one will suit you best.
The whole point of big data visualization is to make it easy to understand at a glance.
It won’t be easily intelligible if you just start piling in large amounts of unstructured data and simply hope for the best. Or imagine you have tens of tiny little numbers on a bar graph that no one can see or read.
You need to make sure that anyone on your team, whether a data scientist or not, can understand what you’re trying to convey at a glance.
You can do this by using clear and bold text, contrasting font colors and background colors, not adding too many values to one chart and using compelling images to highlight your point, just like in the example above.
By adding too much text or too many values to a single graph, you risk confusing your audience even more. So keep it as simple and concise as possible.
Using legends is absolutely vital for making your data easy to understand, so whether you’re creating a pie chart or bar graph, make sure you’re using a legend.
A legend is an area of your design that further explains each segment of your chart.
Many times people will assign a color to a segment in their chart, just like in the example above, and on the side add a little graphic element that explains what each color represents.
The legend is responsible for keeping the audience engaged and understanding everything you’re trying to convey.
If you have a large amount of data that needs to be conveyed to your team, try using multiple graphs to do so.
Incorporating tons of data into a single chart will only make it hard for the human brain to stay on track and focus to try and understand what you want to share.
The best rule of thumb to follow here is KISS — keep it simple, stupid.
So instead of simply adding all your data to one pie chart and making it have 30 pie slices, why not create multiple graphs and break it down into bite-sized pieces? Pun intended.
By creating multiple matching charts, you can keep your data easily intelligible, cohesive and right on brand.
Just like in the example above, you can clearly understand all the data that’s being displayed because it is written out on two different donut charts.
You want to make sure your information is understandable by anyone at a glance, and you can do so by breaking down your data.
Now that you know essentially all there is to know about big data visualization, it’s time you choose a tool that will help you create those visuals.
We’ll be covering 4 data visualization software you can use to get the job done.
Let’s jump right into it.
If you want to create compelling and professional data visualization, then you need a tool like Visme.
Visme makes it easy for both designers and non-designers alike to visualize their data in interactive and engaging ways.
For example, you can create incredible animated charts, add your own audio files to them that you can record right within the editor, add tons of professionally design data widgets and import all your data from third-party websites such as Microsoft Excel, Google sheets etc.
The best part? You can save endless amounts of time and effort by using one of our hundreds of customizable templates for displaying your data.
Simply scroll through tons of professionally design templates for charts and data choose one that suits your style.
Everything can be customized on each and every template and you can even add your own brand colors, logo and font to keep everything right on-brand with your other designs.
Not only can you create loads of beautiful charts, graphs and infographics with Visme, but you can also create anything else design-related. You can create presentations, infographics, multi-page reports and proposals, branded social graphics and more.
If you’re looking for a powerful data visualization tool with high functionality for many other types of designs, Visme is the one for you. Plus, you can create a free account and use for as long as you like — no trial period or hidden costs!
Tableau is an interactive data visualization software with a focus on business intelligence. Their goal is to help people make data that can be easily understood by anyone.
Tableau is a tool that is used in the business intelligence industry and it can help you simplify raw data into a simple format. With drag and drop functionalities, you can create data visualization fairly quickly and then share it with others.
In Tableau you can create lots of different data visualizations, from a correlation matrix to a simple bar graph.
Another plus for the software is that you can infuse the Tableau dashboard with artificial intelligence and machine learning from Aible.
You can start a free trial with Tableau, but it is a bit pricey after your trial is up. At $70/month billed annually, you’ll have to make sure you absolutely love the product before buying it.
Power BI by Microsoft is a business analytics service that helps you create interactive data visualizations.
Whether your data is on an Excel spreadsheet an on-premises hybrid data warehouses, Power BI will help you bring that data together to create reports and graphs to share with your team.
There are three versions of Power BI that you can use: the desktop app, the mobile app or their website.
You can use Power BI to help you visualize big data with your team by using some of their other popular apps like Microsoft Excel and work together in real-time to create compelling data.
Power BI has some basic templates that you can use to get a jump start on creating your data.
Power BI is quite affordable, coming in at $9.99/month.
If you’re not completely sold on using Power BI, let’s move on to our next tool.
With big users like the New York Times and the UN, they do have quite a few things to boast about.
Data wrapper is an open-source and easy-to-use data visualization software where you can create basic charts and graphs, maps and line charts that can be embedded into your website.
As for the price, you can use their free plan and create lots of charts, maps and tables, but they will be watermarked and there are a few other inconveniences that come with the free plan.
The next plan comes in at $599/month, which is definitely on the pricey side.
And that concludes our list of 4 tools for data visualization.
If you want a data visualization software that will help you convey your data in a fun and engaging way, then you most likely will love using Visme.
Not only is Visme a powerful data visualization tool, but it’s so much more. You can use Visme to create all of your graphic design needs, from sales presentations to pitch decks, social media posts, infographics, videos, eBooks and more.
What are you waiting for? Create your free account today and free your inner data scientist.
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