About this time every year, the “best of” lists come out, and the lists of best visualizations are no exception. Often, the visualizations honored are artistic creations rather than business graphs supported by leading data visualization tools like TIBCO Spotfire, Tableau, QlikView, and Power BI.

The good news is that you don’t need to be an artist to create great visualizations. Some visualization examples not only open worlds of understanding for businesses, but are also out-of-the-box chart types available in data visualization software.

The following are examples of visualizations to consider for your dashboards.

Data Visualization Tools Like Heatmaps Help Companies Understand the Relative Size of Customers and Product Lines

Often visualizing comparisons like sizes immediately delivers insight in ways that rows of numbers cannot. The following heatmap shows the performance of stocks by sector – in this case, the information technology sector – and company. Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) are the largest companies by market cap and hovering over Apple shows the 30-day stock price trend. The color of the companies is based on a red-green scale derived from a decrease or increase in stock price for the last day.


(source: Tableau Public Gallery, created by Dorian Bantoid)

For businesses, a heatmap on a dashboard delivers immediate insight by combining large block shapes, summed up quickly by the eye, and rich detail upon further inspection. Chances are, your data visualization software includes heatmaps in its chart gallery of available chart types.

This data visualization works well for B2B customers or product lines. Customers and products are often segmented (like sectors in the stock market) and have important metrics like customer value or revenue that make for compelling comparisons.

We often hear that the top 20% of our customers represent 80% of revenue, but we rarely see the 80-20 rule visually. Seeing can make all the difference: if your business is closer to 95-5, you probably have too much dependence on a few customers, and this realization can ignite a strategy to diversify.

Discovering Connections in Networks Helps Marketers to Find Important Links Between Products and Customer Satisfaction

Once relegated to mapping IT topologies, network diagrams or “graphs” are becoming popular with the rapid rise of social networks and graph databases. Despite their apparent complexity, these diagrams immediately draw your eye to important relationships, like the strong line between “@Qlik” in the center and “@braverman_r” in the right of the network. In turns out that @braverman_r is Rebecca Braverman, a senior director at Qlik.


(source: Qlikshow, created by Patrick Tehubijuluw)

For other businesses, this sort of diagram can be useful for understanding what consumers say about your brand. Data visualization tools can either use exact terms or group similar concepts like product features, price, the experience with direct interactions with your company, and other important dimensions.

The application of this data visualization tool is not limited to social media. Often unstructured text is mined using NLP (Natural Language Processing) to create these sorts of concepts. Co-occurrence creates the connections, which can also be displayed with “sentiment,” like positive or negative comments. Unstructured text examples include customer emails and other communications, call center notes, and Facebook posts. Finding the links that lead to positive experiences helps focus improvements in marketing and operations.

Map Overlays – Using Data Visualization Tools Helps Improve the Efficiency of Remote Operations

Businesses operate in the real world, of course, and maps are a great way to overlay business operations on the familiar terrain of geographic maps. Since augmented analytics often derives latitude and longitude coordinates automatically from address information in your data, much of the hard work of overlaying points on maps is handled by data visualization software.

In the following example, routes from distribution centers (top left) to delivery locations (bottom left) are determined automatically for delivery routes (right). The routing is dynamic: selecting different distribution centers and delivery locations provides a different map of routes.


(source: TIBCO Spotfire Demos, Delivery Routing)

For other types of businesses, overlay maps deliver immediate insight for a number of applications.

  • Visualizing drive times for new store placement
  • Understanding driving patterns for remote employees
  • Comparing demographic information for targeting
  • Exploring real estate data
  • Monitoring corporate tracts for solar farms and other energy applications

See Your Business More Clearly

Syntelli Solutions can help you see your business more clearly. Syntelli employs cutting edge, effective data visualization software to create reporting solutions that provide insights that you can use to run your business better. Let us know if we can help.