Data Visualization

Data Visualization image
Data Visualization
# Design
# Dev
# General
# Video

John-Michael Pahlavan
UI/UX & Project Management




We were not able to save your changes. Please try again.

A hundred years ago, Frederick R. Barnard, an illustrator most known for his artistic depictions in Charles Dickens novels, made a statement that might sound familiar to you, “A picture tells a thousand words.” That statement has echoed in time with ferocity.

Data visualization is a key catalyst for interpreting large sets of complex information. Approximately 63% of the worldwide population is online, and in America alone, internet users account for 3,138,420 GB of internet traffic per minute. Yes, you read that right, per minute! (1) That’s a lot of data, and it’s just one example of how much data there is to account for. The trouble with having all this data is figuring out what to make of it and how to utilize it. Visual representations of data can be beneficial both internally and externally. Internally, a custom implementation of an application’s analytics could better convey big picture trends of a customer base, or give administrators an easier way to analyze how different demographics interact with their product, application, or website.

The video below is a modest example of how our team visually represented the growth of our internal code library in less than 60 seconds.

From a consumer standpoint, turning an excel grid with countless cells of data into a visually pleasing infographic could convey a story, a vision, or a mission that can be processed in a matter of seconds. Thanks to countless studies of the human mind, we know visual information is an essential learning tool for mankind. According to MIT, visual information is one of the fastest forms of information our brain processes. (2) If you’ve ever stared into the depths of an excel sheet, you won’t have any trouble believing this.

That’s where data visualization comes in. With a seemingly never ending ocean of data, we need tools to aggregate and interpret ‘big-data’ information for the betterment of an increasing amount of data-driven endeavors.

Impact for consumers

On a small scale, it’s easy to see the benefit of owning a device that tracks information and presents a visualized version of data points. Between connected trash cans, refrigerators, smart watches, and even light bulbs, there are a growing number of connected devices generating and tracking data. While some of this data only presents a modest benefit to the user, there are some significant benefits to tracking data on personal smart devices. Popular consumer electronics like Fitbit or Apple Watch, give users the opportunity to track their exercise activities, sleep patterns, and monitor their vitals. On a basic level, what these all present to a user is an easy and quick way to analyze data that’s unique to that user. Is your company utilizing the data it collects to convey a message to your users? If not, it might be time to consider how you can leverage the data you collect in a personalized way that connects with your customers. It could be personalized recommendations, custom information about how a consumer is using your product, or maybe the data you have is opening the doors to offering a new product or new service tier. These are just a few ideas for how you can benefit your costumer base in a way that also benefits your organization when it’s all said and done. No matter what your implementation options are, it all starts with a custom and even automated set-up of your data.

Impact for businesses

Businesses are only on the cusp of leveraging consumer tracked data to sell products, improve services, and understand their customer bases like never before. Social media companies like Facebook or TikTok track content users tend to engage with more in order to serve up personalized ads that garner a higher click-through rate, and also to encourage users to spend more time on their applications.

Remember the days of dropping your business card in the prize drawing fishbowl? Well those days are gone, and businesses don’t have to resort to giving away $50 circuit city gift cards to get potential customer information. We have so much data, the challenge now is interpreting and leveraging that data to your advantage.

Let’s take a look at a couple of industries to see how they’ve been utilizing data visualization tools to interpret large amounts of data:


Charitable organizations like Project C.U.R.E. or CounterSpill convert large sets of worldwide data to visuals which help better convey the big-picture impact of donating medical supplies or the tracking of preventable environmental pollution. These groups use interactive infographics, charts, diagrams, and maps to quickly illustrate a powerful message that data points and figures don’t convey as easily or quickly (3,4).

Counterspill environmental map - Much nicer than an excel grid don’t you think?
Counterspill environmental map - Much nicer than an excel grid don’t you think?


A recent example of leveraging big data in the healthcare sphere is John Hopkins’ famous Covid-19 tracking map, which not only presents global data in an easy to understand visual manner, they also produced an interactive experience which allows users from all over the world to interact with real-time data.

Hospitals and private practices are also utilizing data visualization tools, which has led to predicting big-picture patterns easier and sooner, giving patients and doctors a better understanding of unique health trends. It’s also been reported that visualizing large sets of data from multiple sources has helped identify diagnostic errors and even lower operational costs (5, 6).


Data visualization specialists at the University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation have been utilizing “data visualization tools to create an interactive dashboard for faculty to explore learner feedback and understand the demographic composition of their students” (7).

In addition to better interpreting student feedback and demographic information, students can also monitor their academic trends and of course utilize data visualization tools to better understand their own field of study.

According to a 2019 article published in the Strategy & Organizational Behavior eJournal, Data visualization is strengthening information literacy by giving students and faculty an easier way to understand large data driven trends. The article also points out how “higher education is shifting towards data-informed decision-making” leading to a growing need to build data capacity and information literacy in higher education. Data visualization is the catalyst, a lynchpin, and a necessary resource for tying together and conveying big data in a culture that is becoming more data driven (8).

Big Business

Remember the stat on how much data American users generate per minute? If your mind wasn’t blown by that statistical nugget, the IDC estimates a worldwide creation of 180 zettabytes of data (or 180 trillion gigabytes) by 2025 (9). Uhm… Yeah, thats a lot of data.

Finding meaningful information in a sea of data that large makes finding a needle in a haystack look like fun, weekend child’s play. This is where data visualization makes a huge impact. In an article from, Kevin McGirl outlines three broad areas where the visualization of big data helps big businesses: (10)

  • Condensing information
  • Clarifying customer trends
  • Unifying the business vision

Microsoft Analytics Partner, SR Analytics, echoes this sentiment purporting that data visualization aids facilitate quicker decisions, improve focus, personalize data interactions, and even improve internal collaboration and communication (11).

Network giant Verizon Wireless reported that by using a popular data visualization tool, they were able to reduce customer support calls by 43%. They also stated that by creating over 1,500 customized visual interfaces, they were able to cut customer service analysis time by 50% across their call center, digital, and dispatch teams (12).

Programming and data visualization

There is an ever increasing number of off-the-shelf software solutions for data visualization. The question is, how unique are your needs and how custom are your data visualization goals Custom software developers can create just about ANYTHING, so you don’t have to try and fit your square business problem into the circular hole of off-the-shelf software options. Instead, you can say exactly what you hope to accomplish and have a custom, automated software solution created that matches it perfectly.

In terms of data visualization, your company’s database architecture and system integrations play a huge factor and must be considered. Custom developers can actually determine down to the programming language itself, what would best suit a company’s needs. A team of experienced back-end developers along with world class visual designers can make the difference you may or may not have realized you needed. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to custom software development and as it relates to visualizing a large amount of information, the time to consider these options is now. Visualizations can be the difference in having the information and truly understanding it. It is the method to tell a story rather than just show information. When communicating information to your users, you want to make sure that the intended results are clear, understandable, and help your software provide what they are seeking in an easy to understand package.

The use of data visualization dates back farther than we can say, but researchers can point to the oldest geologic map we’ve discovered, which accurately depicts geological resources visually and conveys information on the quarrying of nearby resources (13). That’s a good usage of data! One could say that humans realized a long time ago the importance of data visualization, but no human could’ve predicted the way in which visualizing information would shape businesses, healthcare, society, and the way in which cultures around the world make decisions.

You might also like

Sign Up for our Mailing List

Enter your email address to be among the first to read new articles and stay up-to-date on company news.
| Privacy Policy

Binary Evolution

(770) 683-2764

BE Email Address |

BE Email Address |

(770) 683-2764

Privacy Policy