Although data visualization has a fancy name, it’s a simple concept. This approach — often abbreviated data viz — displays information via visual representations. A pie chart, bar graph and infographic are some examples of popular data visualization options. How can business visualization stimulate business growth? Here are five ways.
1. It Can Help You Better Understand What Customers Want
When a business continually delivers what customers demand, it can become perpetually profitable. Data viz can prevent business leaders from engaging in guesswork when determining whether the company’s current approach meets customer expectations.
Consider the instance when Civil Beat, a news outlet, depended on data visualization to identify key metrics that supported business growth. The company found that data visualization taught them what kinds of articles people most wanted to read, and even more importantly, how to keep them coming back. Civil Beat’s data visualization software showed which pieces or news categories people read most, and drilled down into statistics for particular writers.
2. It Lets Business Leaders Make Sense of Growing Amounts of Information
The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices means business leaders have massive collections of data they could analyze. According to IDC, more than 41 billion IoT gadgets will generate in excess of 79 zettabytes of data by 2025. Having more information at one’s fingertips could be a fantastic thing, but it could also make sorting through the content more difficult.
Data visualization can promote business growth by condensing the available information and helping the people working with it see patterns that they might otherwise overlook. Also, since most data viz tools enable segmenting the results, they facilitate making comparisons and contrasting how outcomes change from year to year.
In a data visualization example specific to colorectal cancer diagnoses, a University of Victoria student developed a platform that allows physicians to learn more from patient information. The tool can enhance the speed and accuracy of cancer detection attempts, which gives people the care they need while cutting down on false positives.
It’s easy to envision how that kind of tool could solidify a hospital’s reputation as a top place to go for cancer care. If health care representatives tell the public how a facility uses data visualization, it could help people determine that a given location is a leader in helping patients get and stay healthy.
3. It Can Help Company Representatives Find Underserved Areas
Business mapping, a type of data viz, is especially appealing to businesses that often run their operations by examining which towns, cities, and states they must reach. For example, you can make plans to move into new sales territories by making visual representations of regions containing likely new customers.
Color-coded heat maps can show customer density and sales activities, aiding sales managers in assigning new areas to their traveling salespeople. Data visualizations can conversely show which parts are over targeted, allowing leaders to feel more confident about making changes to the distribution of team members. Company growth usually involves capitalizing on new opportunities. Business mapping can show where those exist.
4. It Makes Information More Actionable
Many people quickly get glazed expressions when shown data in non-visual formats like spreadsheets. Some individuals become overwhelmed and feel that they need specialized training to interpret the content. But, data visualization often makes information seem less intimidating so that people who prepare the respective reports can quickly outline the main findings for business executives.
One data visualization project dove into hits from The Beatles and checked to see which of the Fab Four’s songs performed best on the charts. The people working on this initiative chose a period in which the group released 175 songs but showed the results in ways anyone could understand. The graphic features rainbow colors and music notes to ease the deciphering of the data.
How would a similar approach contribute to a businesses’ growth? When a business leader views data as accessible and available for them to interpret, they’ll feel prepared to take prompt action with it.
5. It Can Improve Your Company’s Strategy
Business growth typically can’t happen if a company doesn’t have a defined path to take them toward any identified aspirations. Data viz can fuel your company’s strategy by showing what’s working and where room for improvement exists.
For example, it may show which areas of the company receive the most resources, then allow you to verify that such resource allocation is worthwhile based on the results. Using regularly updated visualizations can help you keep tabs on what changes, signaling that you may need to update the corporate strategy.
Data Viz Supports All Types of Businesses
No matter what your company’s kind or size may be, data visualization can make information more interpretable. Then, you’re well-positioned to use new insights to propel growth.