The Power of Data Visualization

Spiros Fotis Jr.

Spiros Fotis Jr.

Project Manager of AEGIS IT Research

Back in 1921, Frederick R. Barnard published a piece commending the effectiveness of graphics in advertising with the title “One look is worth a thousand words”1https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words. Almost a 100 years later, in the IoT era, this phrase seems to become even more important as a huge amount of information and data is generated every day. The digital revolution we are experiencing has made it quite easy to record, collect and analyze data. Nevertheless, the analysis of infinite data in the hopes of drawing useful insight for our business, is a process in the size of which our human brain cannot cope with ease. Our data-driven world demands ease of access to useful information at a glance! That’s where data visualization comes at play.

Visual information is the most valuable form of information for our brain. According to MIT, the human brain can process an image in just 13 milliseconds and thus it comes to no surprise that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual2http://news.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116. This comes to agreement with the findings of a study from the University of Minnesota stating that human brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than they do text3http://misrc.umn.edu/workingpapers/fullpapers/1986/8611.pdf .

Apparently, the human brain receives and processes visual information more effectively. People who follow directions with illustrations do 323% better than those who follow text-only directions. Remarkably, the Cornell university found that If a scientific claim is presented in pure words or numbers, 68% of people will believe that the information is accurate and truthful. But if you put a simple graph with the claim, the number rises to 97%4https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02765184! Additionally, The Wharton School of Business found that while only half of an audience was convinced by a purely verbal presentation, that number jumped to over two thirds when visuals were added5https://www.amanet.org/articles/using-visual-language-to-create-the-case-for-change/.

It now starts to make sense why data visualizations are so powerful. They allow for more efficient transfer of information within an organization which will serve to make one’s business more efficient in general. With data only getting more important for organizations in the near future, effective and efficient data utilization to the extraction of valuable insight may well provide the competitive advantage an organization might need. Utilizing an efficient, effective, and capable business intelligence tool that offers data visualization capabilities like the AEGIS Visualization Toolkit is an essential asset for organizations seeking to thrive into a highly competitive data-driven environment.