- Winston Quin
With a massive infrastructure of data points and the capability to gather from complex sources, today’s insights promise to delve deeper and yield greater results. Constant development of new algorithms and tools, as well as greater understanding of the significance of insights are driving the marketing industry forward. Software as a Service (SaaS) will be one of the hottest developing industries this year as more businesses begin to utilize data viz solutions.
Big Data Made Actionable
According to the Encyclopedia For Human Computer Interaction, data visualization “shifts the balance between perception and cognition to take fuller advantage of the brain’s abilities.” However, without the analytical skills to interpret data, many tools still aren’t being used properly. As visualizations gain dimension and complexity, the need for clarity takes precedence. Infographics are only helpful if the data is presented in a comprehensible way.
In the words of prominent data viz blogger Stephen Few, “It isn’t useful to enable people to request visualizations that they cannot understand.” More technical support is needed to help users make sense of their findings. SaaS companies are building guidelines into their tools that will help users look at data from the right perspective, making better use of visualizations in the description of data and predictive modeling.
Immersive Data Visualization
Augmented and Virtual Reality promise more immersive visualization and intuitive interfaces. The evolution of animated, interactive visualizations will open a new dimension of options to analysts and marketers alike, bringing data to life in never before seen ways. Geospatial analysis of Big Data will require the ability to pivot between the micro and macro, requiring rapid shifts in perspective. The acceleration in processing offered by cloud computing and advanced algorithms is only useful if the interface can keep up. By adding a third dimension to interactive data interfaces, the connection between user and interface, brain and information gets a boost in bandwidth.
The way we view data has evolved considerably since the first coordinate system was drawn by the philosopher Rene Descartes. His famous quote, “Cogito ergo sum.” reminds us that the mind is the sum of all the data it has collected and analyzed. Data visualization aims to understand and ultimately overcome some of the operational limits of the Cartesian theater, that is, the mind.
Advances in virtual and augmented reality promise to deepen the working relationship between mind and machine in ways unseen since perhaps the advent of television. Shedding light on hidden geographies of information, giving form to formless numbers, what we now ask of computers is something akin to art.