Interactive visualizations are produced using data visualization tools which allow for direct modification of elements on a graphical plot. The idea is to create charts and graphs which the end-user will be able to personally explore and adjust and not just read passively.
Essentially, interactive data visualization has an advantage over static representations of data in that it offers tools for engaging with the information shown in real time, allowing the end user to see more details, generate new insights and questions, and squeeze more juice out of the available data sets.
Game plan for creating interactive data visualizations
When trying to develop interactive maps, charts, and graphs, there are several factors for you to consider if you want to make the project a success.
First, ask yourself if you have sufficient data available to design your ideal visualization. Second, are you capable of presenting the data in a way which makes it comprehensible and easy to navigate? Third, do the visual interactions you’re planning to include actually generate valuable insights one can act upon?
Typically, an interactive data visualization will be structured around identifying the desired goals, understanding the challenges stemming from the restrictions posed by data sets, and designing a model in which data can be quickly iterated and reviewed.
Once your concept takes shape, you’ll move on to complex data modelling aimed at thoroughly charting every piece of data and meta-data involved. Next up is the design of user interface and the development of core technology which can be achieved with the help of various data visualization tools.
With these steps completed, it’s time to user-test for compatibility, functionality, security, UI, and performance. Put some finishing touches by introducing any improvements that may be required and you’re ready to go live with your target audience.
What are the benefits of interactive data visualizations?
Interactive visualizations allow their viewers to interface with the information presented in ways not possible with static charts and maps. Interactivity is the way to go especially when dealing with complex data.
Among the benefits of interactive data visualizations are:
Identifying trends faster – Humans are way better at processing visual data than just plain text. Being able to see and directly rearrange data makes it easier to acquire information and act on it accordingly.
Identifying relationships more efficiently – The opportunity to focus on particular metrics allows users to discern cause-and-effect relationships throughout definable timeframes.
Valuable data storytelling – The presentation of a data story works best with humans when it’s served in a clear, linear fashion. Interactive data visualization allowing you to zoom in and out, highlight relevant information, filter, and change the parameters will lead to a better understanding of the information.
Simplifying complex data – A huge data set with many interconnected pieces may at first glance look very chaotic. Adding in interactive controls like zooming and filtering will introduce the much needed order and generate valuable insights.
Editable data visualizations are extremely useful in that they optimize the way information is shown. Dashboards with long tables, tons of numbers and text simply aren’t as practical. A chart you can engage with allows for a better understanding of whatever topic is being presented due to its ability to group data and create hierarchies.
Also, including them in business intelligence reports makes the documents more interesting, easier to read, and allows viewers to see trends more clearly.
Interactive data visualization examples
Let’s now have a look at some examples of data visualizations that allow their viewers to engage with them.
Data visualization supports crafting smart solutions for manufacturing companies. Applications powered by IoT enable reading data coming from sensors in real-time. This kind of tools turns the diagram into an interface which makes the user understand data flowing from various sources better. Mainly, these are IoT hardware, existing software, or databases.
The purpose of the application is to support real-time monitoring of various data pieces (including sensitive information), thus assessing the situation at hand. The user can design his production line equipped with sensors. Interactive dashboards, however, allow focusing on the current status of machines.
The use of the IoT in the management of modern buildings is closely related to data visualization. It makes it possible to create interactive applications for managers, facilitators, and users to administer the available spaces via a browser or smartphone.
With sensors deployed to catch up with the data flow, it’s possible to get an overview of the building’s conditions, check out the alerts, or schedule any necessary repairs.
Connecting sensors, real-time data reading, and ad hoc emergency issues can be troublesome. The tool provides a handy work management solution to support automated monitoring of the building. It also covers convenient space optimization when necessary. The user can take full control over utility consumption and receive alerts and notifications via a well-designed and simple dashboard.
Real-time work tools for building and project management are largely based on visualization. They make it much faster to connect the work of many people, and at the same time, to understand the project and its assumptions. Thanks to the usage of visual libraries such as GoJS, it‘s possible to transfer the design and management process to the digital world.
By employing a variety of functionalities provided by the visual library, it becomes possible to improve communication. The solution eliminates any unnecessary tools by reducing the work to one advanced platform.
All data visualizations, convenient interfaces, multi-level mapping, as well as clear and intuitive operation of the application transfer each project member to the work characteristics. It all comes down to digitizing your work, which allows you to operate more efficiently.
The use of interactive visualizations is increasing in scope across many industries and is now becoming an integral component of business intelligence and data analysis tools.
What makes these interactive charts and maps so great is that they grant their viewers the opportunity to not only see but also explore, adjust and otherwise engage with the data via different actions.
Perhaps the biggest boon of an interactive visualization is its ability to show the latest data which leads to well-informed and precise decisions.
Data visualizations in general allow organizations to diversify the way they display data. This leads to a deeper understanding and more specific analysis which can produce new insights and unexpected results.