Data Visualization and Story Telling (Part 1)

July 13, 2020 Rishabh Saxena

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words - a phrase that originated in the USA and is widely attributed to Frederick R. Barnard, quite similar to that paradigm, one can indeed consider infographics to be worth thousands of rows of data.

Nowadays, when organizations are shifting to data analytics progressively, something that should not be overlooked is the art of visualizing data to get meaningful insights. Data visualization is industry agnostic, whether you work in finance, marketing, tech, design, or anything else; you need to visualize data. Data visualization is fundamentally the representation of data or information in a graph, chart, or another visual format. It helps communicate relationships of the data with images, thus allowing trends and patterns to be more easily seen.

In brief, data visualization has multifold benefits and most important of them is understanding the trend, which can be understood with the example below.

Representation 1

Representation 2

I think you will agree that the graph is much easier to interpret at a glance. Here are some key advantages of data visualization.

  1. Identify emerging trends: As shown in above chart, visualization helps understand the trend coming out of the data, like correlations, increasing/ decreasing trends, or any cyclic/ recurring patterns.
  2. Quick understanding of Information: While saving time and making processes efficient, data visualization can help visualize large volumes of data in an understandable and coherent way, which in turn helps us comprehend the information and draw conclusions and insights.
  3. Data storytelling and engagement: Narrative through graphics and diagrams can help build the story you want to present as well as help uncover new insights and enhance engagement.
  4. Digging deeper: Visualizing data helps identify the right areas and aspects where deeper analysis is required to put together a comprehensive bundle of insights to satisfy a curious audience.
  5. Finding errors: Visualizing data helps quickly identify any errors in the data. If the data tends to suggest the wrong actions, visualizations help identify erroneous data and thus avoid any misunderstandings.

With the advantages in hand, we come to the end of the first part of this three-part series. In the next part, we will be looking at how someone can use data to build an impactful story, and in the last part of the series, we will deep dive into the art of storytelling.

Happy data storytelling!!

Are you interested in data visualization? Read the next article of this series!

About the Author

Rishabh Saxena

Rishabh Saxena is Senior Business Analyst at Aon. He graduated from IIT (BHU) Varanasi and did an Executive Program focused in Business Analytics from IIM Calcutta. Rishabh has a background in insights generation and data visualization through Tableau, PowerBI and Market research.

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