The Top 5 Biggest Advantages of Data Visualisation
The Brain Is Programmed for Visualisation
Why do charts and graphs communicate better? Perhaps it’s because humans are preprogrammed to process visual cues rather than written language. In other words, humans are not “preprogrammed” for written language. “We were never born to read,” says neuroscience and reading researcher, Maryanne Wolf, in her book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.
Wolf explains that vision is pre-programmed into the human brain while reading does not come naturally. She describes the brain as computer scientists would: with an “open architecture.” The system of the brain “is versatile enough to change--or rearrange--to accommodate the varying demands on it.” She continues, “Thanks to this design, we come into the world preprogrammed with the capacity to change what is given to us by nature, so that we can go beyond it. We are, it would seem from the start, genetically poised for breakthroughs.” Because of this brain plasticity, we have the ability to learn languages and how to read.
Reading, says Wolf, involves tapping into existing “visual circuits” of the brain in order to decode letters into words. That decoding can happen with any image or symbol and it is happening with data visualisation. In effect, images are becoming a new written language.
Wolf’s findings are significant when considering the importance of data visualisation in sales. Charts, graphs, and visual representations can be processed faster, support visual learners, and show insights and actionable items that lead to increased sales productivity.
If you’re not already realising the benefits of data visualisation tools, consider these five advantages of data visualisation:
1. Visualised Data Is Processed Faster
Visual content is processed much faster and easier than text. In fact, researchers at Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. The retina, explained by the news release, is actually a part of the brain that has grown into the eye.
Data visualisation taps into this concept of how quickly our brains can recognise images and make sense of them. James Haight of Blue Hill Research explains, “The brain operates with neural networks that allow us to predict patterns based on external stimuli at great speed. And once we learn a pattern, the brain is excellent at recognising it again. What’s more is that one of the greatest inputs into our brain’s pattern recognising process is, you guessed it, visual imagery. So, in this sense, data visualisation tools play into our biological sweet spot. The human mind may not intuitively understand complex statistical models or things like ‘R squared’ values, but we are quite adept at picking out patterns from visual displays.”
In a world where employees are overloaded with information, visuals allow us to quickly process and section out necessary information.
2. Data Visualisation Dashboards Support Visual Learners
While 90 percent of information submitted to the brain is visual, learning styles vary among the population. Some learn kinesthetically, while others are auditory learners. The majority of the population however, 65 percent to be exact, are visual learners. Data visualisation and online data visualisation tools help make it possible to quickly comprehend the information presented.
Moving past the spreadsheet era, modern technology has transformed information from generic spreadsheets into appealing and easy-to-read charts and graphs. online data visualisation is a tool to present data visually and gain insights from that data.
Anyone from salespeople to CEOs will greatly benefit from the ability to quickly grasp the pulse of the organisation.