The last few years have been particularly exciting for data visualizations.
We’ve witnessed a boom in the popularity of infographics and in tools to help create everyday visualizations for practical purposes. With all these exciting developments it’s difficult not to wonder what the future of this field will look like.
Industry-renowned data visualization expert, Edward Tufte once said “The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat. How are we to represent the rich visual world of experience and measurement on mere flatland?” Tutfe brings up a valid point. In most cases there is so much data out there that it ends up being extremely difficult to effectively visualize it all. According to a Forrester report, sadly more often than not “traditional reports using tabs, rows and columns do not paint the whole picture or, even worse, lead an analyst to a wrong conclusion.”
There’s a growing problem that businesses are facing. As businesses strive to collect more data, applying all of itand making sense out of it is a real problem. Firms are realizing the importance of visualization tools because employees are unable to pick out important patterns in data without data visualization. Forrester points out that “numbers on a grid often does not convey the whole story – and in the worst case, it can even lead to a wrong conclusion.” Ever tried to cram a bunch of data on a single screen in the hopes that it will be easier to read? You can only fit so much. Visualizations help cure that problem. How about data overload? You know, rows and rows of excel columns; it can get pretty daunting and quite frankly difficult to analyze. “Fitting in and analyzing hundreds of thousands of columns of attributes is an enormous challenge.”