What is Data Visualization

In this article, I’m going to explain exactly what Data Visualization is... and why Data Visualization is important to your company.

So today's topic is Data Visualization.

So, What is it, what is data visualization?

Simply put, data visualization is when you use graphics to represent information and data. 

By using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization systems provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data. A common term for this today is a dashboard. 

To be honest, everyone wants dashboards for everything from marketing data to ERP systems.

We’re fully immersed in the age of Big Data and data visualization is an increasingly critical tool to make sense of the trillions of rows of data generated every day.

You see data visualization helps to tell stories by curating data into a form easier to understand, highlighting the trends and outliers.

And you and I both know, a good story is key to understanding the world around us.

And that’s why it’s so important for your company.

Story!

Data points mean nothing to most of us. But telling the right story will get us to understand and make decisions.

The human eye is drawn to colors and patterns. We can quickly identify red from blue, square from circle. We’re visual creatures, including everything from art and advertisements to TV and movies.

So data visualization is another example of what grabs our interest and keeps our eyes on the message. When we see a chart, we quickly see trends and outliers.

If we can see something, we internalize it quickly. It’s storytelling with a purpose. If you’ve ever stared at a massive spreadsheet of data and couldn’t see a trend, you know how much more effective a data visualization can be.

How can you use data visualization for your marketing, sales, and human resources teams?

First, a quick note. You’ll find tons of tools for data visualization and data analysis. These range from simple and  intuitive to complex.

Not every tool is right for every person looking to learn visualization techniques, and not every tool can scale to your industry or enterprise purposes or needs. Be sure to do your research to find what fits your needs.

With that said, here are three ways you can use data visualization at your company today. 

Data Visualization for Marketing

From website traffic to conversions to email opens and clicks… marketers today have so much data that we actually face what’s called dark data. That’s the information we’ve gathered that we just don’t know what to do with!

So if you can take your marketing data and put it into a beautiful dashboard to visualize ideas like the best time to send an email to get the highest open and click rates, you might see a point graph with clusters of data points.

This might tell you that Thursday mid-morning is the best time for your team to send marketing emails. 

Data Visualization for Sales

Put data visualization to work for your sales team by putting all that marketing data together with information from your CRM into a nice dashboard full of graphs. For instance, use your data visualization system to show you closed deals won, divided by industry and then by revenue per deal.

You could slice it up in a pie graph to decide where you want to focus your next quarter’s prospecting!

Data Visualization for Human Resources

From tracking hours on client work to discovering and visualizing labor costs, data visualization can turn HR information into a visual aid to tell the story of where your expenses are going on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

Making decisions based on data, and seeing that data in an easily understandable story, can help make your company (or your team) more efficient. 

Now that you know what Data Visualization is and why Data Visualization is important, make sure you are implementing it for your company’s success and of course, make sure you're being happy and helpful, human along the way.

About the Expert

George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is an Inbound Marketing Marketer, Video Jedi and HubSpot Certified Trainer with more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience. He leads the Impulse Creative crew in HubSpot certifications with 19 including Inbound, Email, Contextual, and Content Marketing.


George utilizes his love of teaching and learning to help companies find their way to growth via workshops, speaking engagements, business audits, and of course, Sprocket Talk.