How to incorporate data charting in your BI development
To communicate data effectively, humans need more than just numbers. They need visuals that are easy to comprehend. Data charting can be used in business intelligence (BI) development to make data easier for the user to understand.
In order to utilize business intelligence (BI) effectively, the data it produces needs to be easily digestible. Because humans think and learn visually, it makes sense to communicate data as graphs and charts instead of as rows and columns of numbers.
Data charting can simplify complex datasets. Here is a guide to explain what data charting is and how you can begin to incorporate it into your BI development.
What is data charting, and how can it be used in BI development?
Data charting works because human beings are naturally inclined to combine different types of sensory information when they try to process new information.
When you view a graph, your brain is capable of understanding the measurements by combining both their numerical value and visual representation. This makes it much easier for you to visualize changes in data over time or spot correlations within the data.
Using these charts can help make your BI development more effective because it gives you an opportunity to present users with information that can be understood quite easily.
If you give them something that they can easily identify with, it will be easier for them to see the bigger picture and spot trends within your data sets.
Since data charting works by making your information more accessible to the users you’re presenting it to, using charts in your BI development can help make your users’ lives easier because they won’t have to spend so much time trying to process the information you’re giving them.
They will be able to quickly and easily form a conclusion about your data, which will ultimately help them make better decisions.
What are some different types of data charting?
There is an array of different types of data charting tools available for BI developers to use. For example, some common types include:
These plots show individual points in relation to two different data sets. This allows the viewer to spot correlations and trends within different groups of data, which can be especially useful for spotting relationships between variables.
A company may use this type of chart to visualize how their sales figures relate to their department’s amount of advertising. They would then be able to see if there was a correlation between the two and to what extent that correlation exists.
These charts display information through vertical columns, making them especially useful for comparing different data sets. For instance, a company may use this type of chart to compare their sales within different regions.
These charts represent the quantity of a particular data set as slices of a circle, with each part of that circle representing a percentage or fractional amount of the whole.
Pie charts are especially useful for representing parts-to-whole relationships between data sets and can even be used to display comparisons between different data sets.
For example, they can be used to show how different departments within a company contribute to the overall success of that business.
These charts are used to show trends in data over time. They typically display each point of the data set with a dot that is connected by a line.
This type of chart can be especially useful when you want to present information that will allow your users to predict future outcomes.
For example, this kind of chart could be used by meteorologists to represent how much it is likely to rain over the course of a week.
What are some best practices for incorporating data charting?
Even though data charting can be an extremely useful tool in your BI development, there are some best practices that you should keep in mind when using them:
Use simple charts to enhance clarity
When you make your data easier to understand, it enhances the overall clarity of your information. This is why simple charts should be preferred over complex ones whenever possible. For example, if your point can be made with a single summary number, don’t try to overcomplicate things by introducing a pie or bar chart.
Loading too much information onto a chart can make it confusing and difficult to decipher what’s really important about that data.
Always keep your audience in mind
When developing your information and constructing your charts it’s important to keep your audience in mind.
Make sure that you know what kind of data they will be able to understand and any limitations to the amount of information they will be able to take in at once.
This can help you develop a charting strategy that is smarter and more effective for them.
Use charts to highlight key information
One of the best uses for data charting is to highlight key information about your data, such as important anomalies and discrepancies.
This can help your users make better decisions by giving them a starting point from which they can explore your data further.
Don’t overuse colors or graphical effects
Having too many colors or other graphical effects within your charts can make it difficult for users to focus on what is really important. Some research even shows that too many colors in a chart can lead to misinterpretations of the data by viewers.
You should also be very careful about using 3D graphs, as this could distort the angles in your information and present an inaccurate picture of your data.
Always keep your charts accurate
It’s very important to ensure that your charts are accurate and reliable before you release them.
Users need to be able to trust the information they are seeing, so it’s especially critical that you test your data charting extensively and determine how often it is refreshed prior to using it within a live environment.
How can BI development help?
BI developers can use data charting to help make their data more accessible and understandable to the business users they are developing for.
By using data charting, developers can help users spot trends and correlations in their data that may not be immediately apparent.
Additionally, data charting can also be used to highlight important information and help to simplify complex datasets.
By utilizing data charting within your BI development, you can help enhance the overall clarity of your information. This can ultimately lead to better decision-making on behalf of your business users.