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Collaborative working seems to be the buzzword for organisation, especially during this current pandemic. Organisations are now more than ever ensuring their infrastructure can withstand the pressures of staff not being in one central location. Working together regardless of location is what organisations around the world are trying to accomplish, being able to share, exchange, discuss information is vital. One area of collaborative working which has developed dramatically over the past century is the importance of data visualisation.
With the development of technology, data visualisation has never been easier. Huge amounts of data that was once produced on reams and reams of paper, analysed for hours by specialists, trying to establish patterns / trends, is now being analysed and interpreted within minutes by the use of sophisticated data visualisation tools that uses graphic representation to tell a story.
Using graphics like bar charts, scatter graphs to interpret thousands and thousands of data items may seem like a standard process now, but that was not always the case. Data visualisation started in the field of cartography (map making) and developed and progressed into William Playfair’s Commercial and Political Atlas, a bar chart created by hand, but was the start of bar charts to represent data.
Technology has allowed the data representation to develop and nowadays the top visualisation and dashboarding tools are cloud-based, which allows for businesses to connect their data wherever it is stored, and key trends are produced by artificial intelligence, automation, and augmentation. Businesses need to find ways to really understand the health of their business and using data visualisation tools is a way to see the data acquired in a way that allows organisations to make informed decisions.
There are so many data visualisation tools, packages on the market, but here are a list of 5 that have caught our eye:
Microsoft’s analytic platform, which uses intuitive data visualisation functionality. The user is easily able to create interactive dashboards and charts and since it is a cloud platform, therefore allowing collaborative work with different teams on data projects.
Tableau is known to be one of the main data visualisation tools. Like Power Bi is another cloud based software allowing for collaborative working and providing all the BI capabilities you will ever need.
Infogram is a drag and drop visualisation tool, giving the user the ability to create interactive infographics charts, tables to communicate and share with your team. The system also provides templates that can be easily used so you don’t have to start from scratch.
Google charts offers a free program and has a wealth of interactive charts. The user has the chance to make simplified graphics, through to more complex graphs. Google Charts is a cloud service and is flexible and powerful in its capabilities.
An advantage of all data visualisation platforms to make the platform easy to use. Looker has this at the heart of their program, there is no need for a highly specialised data scientist to manage the tool. The system has a comprehensive template that can easily be applied to your data. Dashboards can be set up for different audiences, so the information important to them is easily accessible.
Obviously, there are so many data visualisation tools available and each organisation will have to research on what is needed for them. However one thing we all know during this pandemic, it has accelerated a new way of working and any tool that enhances this will go far.