Data has become an inseparable aspect of our modern life. From regular media consumption to day-to-day business operations, it has been a vital gear that underpins most of our modern infrastructure. Businesses and consumers alike rely on data to find solutions, identify risks, and make informed decisions in value creation.
The role of data in today’s technological landscape is undeniably crucial. The integration of big data across multitudes of industries, from banking and financial services to healthcare, has pushed the use of information to even greater heights. To bring modern conveniences without interruption, a growing number of businesses turn to advanced data analytics to sieve and process information from larger and more intricate data sets—often in real time.
Extracting and organizing this enormous and ever-expanding array of information into neat and digestible graphics cannot be possible without data visualization tools.
But what is data visualization, and how can it be used to capture complex information?
This article will cover all about custom data visualization software and its myriad benefits to your business.
Defining data visualization
Before we delve further into data visualization and what it entails, we first need to examine the close relationship between information analysis and our predisposition towards visual imagery.
Humans are wired to recognize unique patterns in shapes, sounds, and colors—a unique trait honed by our ancestors from their early days of foraging for food and evading predators in the wild. This evolutionary behavior easily explains our collective penchant for items with multisensory stimuli reflected in much of our rich cultural history and art. And it is, in part, what makes visualized data particularly appealing to us.
Beyond its aesthetic value, data visualization provides a graphical snapshot of a given reality. It is, in essence, a form of storytelling that utilizes visual elements like graphs, charts, and maps to signify any patterns, outliers, trends, and even anomalies from an extensive, typically nebulous data set. Contextualizing information in this fashion not only keeps us engaged but also helps us identify valuable insights more efficiently.
Data visualization allows us to package complicated topics in simple, visual-rich narratives. By tailoring information like so, we can also explore new ways of conveying stories and engaging with our audience across use cases. This includes sales and marketing, scientific research, engineering, and more.
Here are the many ways data visualization can be implemented to support business operations:
Behavioral assessment – This type of data analysis seeks to quantify empirical results from more subjective research areas. This approach helps you analyze and monitor market behaviors against various variables, including changes in the environment, the presence of disruptions, and frequencies of engagement in a given timescale.
Project planning – You can execute stronger project management by visualizing your project roadmap, timelines, and requirements across distributed team members. The use of the Gantt chart is a perfect example of this.
Trend analysis – Identifying the changing trends over a certain period is perhaps the most prominent use of data visualization in statistical analysis. To streamline this process, companies can automate the recognition of patterns and regularities in the data sets with machine learning, signal processing, and computer-based data gathering.
Correlational research – You can use visualized data to examine the causal relationship between two or more variables in your research design. The results will then determine the direction and the degree of interdependencies between these variables.
Risk identification – Assessing the risk indicators that come with a business decision is often strenuous given the unpredictable nuances of internal and external factors at play. By pinpointing the risk levels of an executive decision relative to time and costs, data visualization helps you navigate business uncertainties with better tactical acuity.
Benefits of custom data visualization
Given the importance of data visualization in business, as demonstrated above, naturally, there are myriad off-the-shelf solutions available in the market to pick, ranging from popular applications like Microsoft Suite to enterprise-focused programs like Tableau and Oracle Analytics.
However, despite the apparent convenience of using ready-made applications, it’s critical to acknowledge their inherent limitations in accommodating more specific data analytics requirements. For example, some programs cannot provide accurate visualization directly from unsanitized data, while others offer only limited data models and indicators with no room for customization.
In contrast, a custom software solution challenges the boundaries of business analytics by constantly reinventing the delicate configurations between a user’s creativity and fundamental design principles. For that reason, it aims to showcase better pictorial representations with more flexible and interactive use of the underlying data.
Here are a few more benefits that further cement custom solutions as the go-to software option for your business:
A custom solution allows businesses to reimagine how the data they gather can be best represented and manipulated visually with tools and metrics of their choice. This degree of freedom also affords companies the ability to wrangle important insights from the source data quicker without the need for specialized expertise. This, in turn, makes the data more accessible to end users, from collection to dissemination.
Incisive business intelligence
Custom data visualization explicitly combines the best practices of business analytics, data mining, and visualization infrastructure to help a company assess its past performance and plan for more robust data-driven strategies in the future. Likewise, with a custom solution, team members can track key metrics and business objectives seamlessly across the data pipeline to better understand the value they generate.
Highly configurable visual reports
With a high degree of automation needed to tackle the collection and extraction of big data, the presence of volatile variables can quickly affect business outcomes. This unpredictability means that businesses must be well-prepared to generate configurable reports at a moment’s notice to accurately reflect any changes in momentum for better accountability and transparency.
A more intuitive UX design
Designing an intuitive data tool with a seamless user experience ensures that everyone can produce precise and easy-to-understand data visualization. By strategically arranging the tools and raw data within the user’s reach, a custom solution can generate charts and reports with more refined information flow at no risk of omission and error.
What differentiates a tailored data visualization tool from its mass commercial counterparts is its ability to build a vast selection of interactive data templates by cleverly pairing multimedia technology with advanced data modeling. With a proprietary data tool, you can, thus, create detailed visual reports that are perfectly in tune with your strategic roadmap and branding.
It isn’t uncommon for companies to use a wide range of third-party tools to execute and gauge several functions independently. The most prominent of those encompass a task management program, a CTM (content management software) application, and a CRM (customer relationship management) tool.
Nonetheless, there is a caveat to this practice. Different applications typically implement their own sets of benchmarks to measure specific performance indicators. Consequently, companies must standardize these results to avoid discrepancies in further audits and assessments.
This lack of interoperability makes the entire process inefficient and time-consuming. To mitigate this issue, you can use a custom visualization tool to automatically integrate and display contrasting metrics from various data sets without encountering any system conflicts.
More collaborative workflow
Organization silos often occur when different functions within a business fail to establish adequate means of exchanging knowledge and information, resulting in the pursuit of competing interests. To prevent this management oversight and bridge the existing expectation gaps that follow, you can commission a custom data tool with the capacity to facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration.
This newly established platform will empower your teams and departments to communicate and align their measurable goals throughout data analysis easily. With this collaborative approach, end users across functions can distill more accurate actionable insights and pursue business objectives in line with the company’s overarching strategic planning.
Creating custom data visualization software with Asahi Technologies
Data visualization can strategically improve business processes and accelerate technology adoption in your company—all of which ultimately bring tangible benefits to your bottom line. Given our prior experience in engineering data visualization platforms to numerous clients, we’ve witnessed firsthand how this analytical innovation can enhance business opportunities.
Case in point, we helped Unilever develop a proprietary market delivery dashboard to closely monitor the trends impacting the procurement costs of production materials. This RPA-powered system aggregates data automatically from various sources before converting it into a nice, readable format, helping the company slash 16 hours of monotonous work and save on $50,000 in aggregate annual savings. By eliminating manual intervention, the market dashboard also improves the company’s purchasing decisions by at least 20% in material procurement costs and 40% in data accuracy.
Enabling a similar business transformation in your company is certainly within the realm of possibility. With proper planning and a seasoned technology partner at your call, you can translate your business requirements into a powerful product that elevates your analytical capabilities to the next level.
Ready to discuss your development plan? Reach out to us now to get started.