+254 714349537   info@devimpactinstitute.com

Data Visualization: Drawing insights from Big Data

From supermarket transactions, traffic patterns, bank transactions, music and video downloads to sensor data and tweets, data is being recorded and stored by businesses and organizations. This data is voluminous (big) and comes from different sources such as transactions, mobile devices, social media and enterprise content.

This type of data is called Big Data.

                                                                                          “Data is the new oil.”


Some years back businesses and organizations were so overwhelmed by the amount of data they had to store—much less analyze, interpret, and present it in meaningful ways. This data yielded less meaning and little value to the businesses. The businesses were rich in data but starving in information. But today, companies are starting to realize the importance of Big Data in reaching  their goals. Insights that used to be difficult for companies to understand— factors that influence a customer to make a purchase, behavior patterns that point to fraud or misuse, inef­ficiencies slowing down business processes—now can be understood and addressed by collecting and analyzing Big Data. The insight gained from such analysis helps organizations improve operations and identify new product and service opportunities that they may have otherwise missed.


Data Visualization: Exploring the Big Data

However getting most out of the Big Data is proving a challenge for many organizations. Most of the tools being used for Big Data have a difficult learning path and requires the organizations to invest in expensive expertise. What these businesses need are simple tools which can help them drill into the Big Data, analyze, spot patterns, see trends and acquire information to help into making informed decisions.

Data visualization offers the much needed solution by enabling the business users to quickly and easily explore the data. The business users can ask informed, specific questions of the data, gain insight from the answers, and put those answers to use to make the right business decisions.

Data visualization offers the most valuable means through which to make sense of big data and make it approachable to most people. Data visualization is way finding, both literally, like the street signs that direct you to a highway, and figuratively, where colors, size, or position of abstract elements convey information. The visuals, when correctly aligned, can offer a shorter route to help guide decision making.

One of the most important feature of Data visualization is interactivity with data. It goes beyond analysis. Users can drill down into charts and graphs for more detail, interactively changing what data you see and how it’s processed.


“By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.”


 The “Three Vs” of Big Data Visualization

 Data visualization tools take the challenges presented by the “three Vs” of big data and turn them into opportunities for business growth.


The scale of data created by businesses is big. Data visualization-based data discovery tools are designed to work with an immense number of datasets, so businesses can turn their attention from simply managing the huge amount data to gaining rich insights. The tools enable businesses to derive meaning from large, and growing, volumes of data.


Big data comes in different forms-healthcare, wearable’s, video, tweets, posts etc. Visualization tools are designed to mash up, or combine, as many data sources as needed. That means businesses can derive more meaning from structured data, as well as semi-structured and unstructured data sources such as social media and sensor data.


Much of today’s Big Data is data in motion-streaming data with milliseconds to second response time. This data needs to be analyzed as it streams in so as to provide real time information for real time decision making. Data visualization tools when combined with analytics can help businesses carryout real-time processing of continually updated data streams, analyze and view the data without having to wait for reports.

Businesses can use Data Visualization to harness the power of the three Vs to achieve the fourth V: Value.


Application of Big Data Visualization

1. Identifying relationships and patterns

It is very difficult to make sense of data in tables. Complicated data start to make sense when presented graphically. It is easier to identify correlations which would have otherwise been difficult to pick out. Data contain hidden relationships and patterns which when identified can help businesses focus on areas most likely to influence their most important goals.

2. Comprehending information quickly

Time is a crucial element in business decision making. Traders in the stock exchange require real time information. By using Data Visualization businesses are able to see large amounts of data in clear, cohesive ways and draw conclusions immediately from that information. Data analytics when combined with visualization empower the businesses focus and the ability to reduce the time required to know where opportunities, issues, and risks reside in voluminous data.

3. Pinpointing emerging trends

Using data visualization to discover trends – both in the business and in the market – can give businesses an edge over the competition, and ultimately affect the bottom line. It’s easy to 

4. Communicate the story to others

Once a business has uncovered new insights from visual analytics, the next step is to communicate those insights to others. Most of the Data Visualization tools allow sharing of the visualizations both online and offline. The visualizations can be embedded into web applications while still retaining the crucial element of interactivity.


Top Data Visualization Tools

Data Visualization Tools for Presentation (No programming required)

Your data is all in a spreadsheet. All you want is to visualize it beautifully and maybe add a few smart interactions.

Data Visualization Tools for Developers (JavaScript Libraries)

This is for when all your data is in JSON or XML. You want to create gorgeous interactive data visualizations, put them on a web page and let the world see.

Sample Visualizations

Join our training program to Learn more about Data Science, Big Data and Visualization  





Thursday, 13 July 2017 13:02
Rate this item
(0 votes)