Every company wants to make the best data visualizations but it is not something that is as easy as just making data or graphs look nice. They need to be practical, useable and simple.
Hitting this sweet spot is the nexus of designers, data scientists, and company executives in modern data-driven companies. Companies need to be able to make informed decisions quickly and inform their stakeholders fully. Effective data visualizations are what allow them to do it.
So what elements do companies who the best data visualizations possess?
The core purpose of a visualization is to quickly and easily communicate information to an audience. It has been the entire basis of visualizations throughout history, whether it is creating a map to show directions or to display complex patterns within a huge dataset.
It is something that we discussed with Chi-Yi Kuan, Director of Business analytics at Linkedin, who believes that ‘An effective visualization should help users to use the right data with very minimal barrier to visually answer a specific question. In the age of big data, there are mountains of data in every company. If you don’t have effective visualization, it won’t yield a grain of insights and returns.’
Those creating the visualization may not be data science geniuses and most won’t even be the people who came up with the data being displayed. However, they need to understand what they are trying to display. This is not to say an in-depth understanding of the data, but more a case of the purpose of the visualization, technical capabilities of the audience and the least amount of data to display to get the desired results.