In a nutshell
Data visualization literally means the representation of data through common graphs or animations to help managers and decision-makers identify otherwise invisible phenomena and trends. Data visualization is intuitive, inspiring and aesthetically pleasing. After all, it mimics the way the human brain processes information.
A major difference
Data Visualization vs Business Intelligence
Data Visualization is the process aimed at making the patterns and insights of data understandable by transforming them into visual context. Information can assume different forms like pivot tables, line graphs, pie charts, and so on. This process mainly addresses clients and entities outside the company that collected the data.
Infographics, in particular, are a simpler and more straightforward type of Data Visualization. They use Information Design principles to convey complex concepts to a wider audience in an easily digestible format. The use of infographics is directed to external stakeholders.
On the contrary, business intelligence is a process that focuses on gathering, organizing, recognizing patterns in, and deriving meaning from, the information a company gathers. Therefore, it uses data to make relevant decisions, regulate growth-oriented strategies, and make future predictions.
• Decision-Making: Infographics are an aesthetically pleasing way to summarize data and share information in a more compelling, engaging way. Also, visuals speed up the rate at which information is processed. The faster clients process information, the faster they will make decisions.
• Brand Credibility: Creating interesting and easy-to-understand graphics can help people learn more about you or your business. You can become a voice of authority. An expert in your industry. A thought leader. And, finally, a trustworthy source.
• SEO: Data visualization formats can drive more traffic to your site, improve your ROI, and increase conversion rates. In order to boost your website’s visibility on search engines, you should add alt text, a title, and a description of the image. One great way to improve your SEO is by making sure your infographics are shareable. Indeed, if they’re shared often enough, people may link to them from their own pages, improving your chances of appearing at the top of the SERP.
• Data Visualization to represent history
Codex Atlanticus is a project conceived by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana of Milan in collaboration with “The Visual Agency” with the aim of making the images and contents of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus accessible and understandable to everyone. Thanks to the Pinacoteca’s initiative, it is possible to browse through the pages of Leonardo’s Codex in digital form and understand the evolution of a genius’ interests at different stages of his life.
• Data Visualization on outer space
National Geographic has developed The Atlas of Moons, a graphical representation of data that allows people to travel through space. It represents a true animated and interactive guide to the natural satellites in our solar system, thanks to which Internet users can say they really feel like they are “on the moon”.
• Data visualization on climate change
Drowning in Plastic is a graphic representation created by Reuters Graphics that compares volumetric measurements of the total amount of plastic bottles sold each hour, day, month, or year with those of famous monuments, buildings, or cityscapes. The goal is to help understand the world’s dependence on plastic bottles and trigger a tangible sense of the danger from the resulting pollution.
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• Data Visualization in support of customer experience
Boldare is a digital product design and development company which, in 2018, have worked with a German green energy company to digitalize their services and provide better user experience to their customers. Boldare created one of the core applications of that client’s portfolio – The Portal. It is an app dedicated to end customers using the company’s products, batteries and photovoltaic installations. An information hub that gathers all the data coming from the entire installation connected to the building and displays it with easy to understand visualizations.
• Data visualization in support of business development
The same Boldare made an interesting public platform for a government-owned business development company in the MENA region. The platform helps users to visualize data in order to make better decisions about their businesses. For example, it is very useful when a restaurant owner (or an owner to be) looks for the best place to open a new branch. Using a Google-based maps app, the owner can see the number of restaurants in a specific city district. Therefore, if the competition is too heavy, it will be easy to check adjacent neighborhoods in search for a better location.
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