In our final Data Round Up blog, we will take a deep dive into data visualization, an increasingly essential skill. While we’ve already discussed a similar topic in data storytelling here, data visualization takes a step back and focuses intensely on how your data visual is able to communicate your exact message. It’s all about getting the substance of your data across to your audience in a visual way. Let’s take a closer look:
Data Visualization on Reddit
In a recent Forbes article, data buff Bo McCready is recognized as a rising star on the popular subreddit r/dataisbeautiful. Bo has spent the last 8 months creating a name for himself in the community through unique data visualization projects. He credits much of his success to Tableau, an interactive data visualization tool which he discovered in 2012. After 6 years of experimenting, his first reddit post was January, 2019. Since then, he’s caught lightening several times. Whether he posts visuals on Game of Thrones final season vs other shows, the 50 most expensive public U.S. colleges, or even countries with more cows than people, Bo’s posts garner a lot of attention. His most popular post to date (most popular film genres since 1910) has 38,000 votes.
McCready had this to say about his recent success: “I spent so many years working in an academic setting where I was happy if anyone read my work at all. When you add up the hits, upvotes, likes, and retweets, I think millions of people have engaged with my creative data projects in 2019, and that’s something I never would have imagined being able to say a year ago.” While the topics themselves are certainly interesting, a huge reason for this magnitude of engagement is Bo’s ability to balance aesthetic creativity with information that is easy to interpret in his visuals. It’s fair to assume a simple bar graph wouldn’t have garnered 17,200 votes like his Cow vs People visual.
Here to Stay
Looking to 2020, the ability to create aesthetically pleasing visuals which succinctly communicate your data will only increase in value. Data visualization is a necessary stepping stone to data storytelling. Without an enticing visual, your story is lost and your audience is uninterested. However, with proper data visualization, your message becomes clear, your point is engaging, and your data is effectively communicated. While Bo has proven its potential on Reddit, the value within an office is limitless. By using data visualization as a medium between your data’s insights and the overall story, your message will be strengthened. To see more great examples of data visualization, we recommend you follow the man himself on Twitter. Fittingly found under the username @BoKnowsData, Bo is very active in sharing his latest visuals. He will certainly provide value to those interested in learning the tricks of the trade.
Future of Data Visualization
If you are yet to be convinced about the growth of data visualization, perhaps a recent 5 year projection will change your mind. According to Research and Markets, The global data visualization market is expected to register a CAGR (Constant Annual Growth Rate) of over 9% during the forecast period 2019-2024. With analytically driven businesses on the rise, data visualization tools are projected to become even more valuable, as simple tabular reports are fading away. Specifically, the increasing adoption of data visualization in small and medium enterprises is expected to be the catalyst of its market growth.
As of now, the factors hindering the imminent growth of data visualization include a shortage of technical skills and lack of a budget for report creation. This talent shortage provides an immediate opportunity for consultants to increase their value through learning the ins-and-outs of visualization tools, such as Tableau. Exemplified by Bo above, the power to engage and inform with the help of Tableau is valuable in itself. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about Tableau becoming outdated in the near future. This January, Tableau expanded their data prep capabilities with Prep Conductor, enabling organizations to schedule and manage self-service data preparation. This is part of a new subscription offering called Tableau Data Management Add-On, which helps customers ensure that governed and timely data is available and ready for analysis. Their innovation is key to ensuring their sustainability in the market.
It’s not too late to utilize data visualization. In fact, despite early adopters like Bo already claiming expert status, most companies are yet to capitalize. As a first step, we’d recommend looking at what Tableau can do for you. If you’re looking for specific guidance, Clear Strategy would love to discuss what data visualization can do for your company. Thanks for following along with our Data Round-Up Series! If you’re interested in checking out the beginning, click here. Until next time, cheers.