How to Choose the Best Data Visualization Tools

How to Choose the Best Data Visualization Tools

Reading Time: 17 minutes

Data is getting immense with every passing year and in nearly all industries. As metrics pile up considerably, you, as an organizational decision-maker, may find yourself confused about which data points collected are essential and in what approaches they can assist your business operations. 

All of this data is tough for the human brain to grasp. It is tricky to comprehend numbers more significant than five for a human brain without sketching some abstraction. Data visualization professionals can play a vibrant role in generating those abstractions.

Big data is impractical if it can’t be understood and digested conveniently. That is why data visualization plays a significant role in the whole thing, from economics to technology, enabling decision-makers in IT companies and end users of BI technologies like hospitals and industries like manufacturing.

By converting multifaceted numbers and other pieces of data into visual elements, content becomes simpler to comprehend and use in diverse applications.

So, here, you require data visualization techniques and need to select the best tools that can maximize your utilities.

What is Data Visualisation?

Data visualization in simple terms is an arrangement of visual elements of a set of data that is highly interactive, intuitive, personalized, and easy to share. 
For instance, text-based data is visualized graphically in the outline of charts, graphs, tables, Infographics, and maps to analyze business or operational scenarios. 

So, by manipulating big data sets in the form of visual formats, you can clearly understand the story your data depicts at a swift glance, instead of working on piles of tables and numbers for long hours.

How does it Enable Business Intelligence Dynamics?

Now coming to the context of Business Intelligence (BI) dynamics, data visualization is used and applied in two ways. 

Data is visualized in form of Dashboards that represent business data from every angle by allowing one to measure its performance in any dimension. Data can be drilled down and dissected any information. We can slice & dice the information in any unit size.

Do you want to know what valuation Business Intelligence (BI) can bring to your organization?

Data Visualisation can Assist your Organisation with Diverse Approaches

How does data visualization help decipher digital information?

Large and ever-altering quantities of data related to your business’s health, such as customer interactions, user experiences, staff performance levels, and expenditures can robustly impact and influence the overall decision-making at crucial moments. However, this is only probable when such data is clearly understandable even by non-data professionals.

With data visualization, you can translate scores of text and numbers to instinctively understandable insights. A step further, visualization tools can transform raw metrics into insightful stories that can be easily shared and worked upon.

  • How can data visualization help discover trends swiftly?

Data visualization facilitates your organization to spot alterations in customer behavior and market conditions swiftly. For instance, by utilizing heat maps, one can rapidly spot expansion opportunities, which is not evident in spreadsheets. 

On the other hand, Radius maps enable you to focus on spatial relationships for realizing enhanced business efficiencies or oversupply.
Further, with territory mapping, your sales teams can easily view their territories and ensure they are aligned or not.

  • How does data visualization help with decision analysis?

When you feed precise and neutral data visualizations into the decision-making tools, you can make enhanced decisions for your organization. Accurate data visualizations don’t deform the original information with unreliable displays. 

Additionally, charts and dashboards should be updated with dynamism using the newest information keeping the decision-making analysis highly applicable and relevant.

  • How data visualization reveals flaws, fraud, and anomalies?

Erroneous data can lead to a severe threat to businesses that depend on their correctness and accuracy levels. Data visualizations like charts and graphs can swiftly highlight large discrepancies in data readings, specifically signaling, where more careful reviewing of the numbers may be crucial.

  • Identifying and visualizing data patterns

Data visualization software enables you to identify and visualize data patterns with relationships that occur amid daily operations and overall business performance. 

However, you should be cautious of inappropriate comparative visualizations as if your organizational data analysis is puzzling or tough to compare; your visualizations might be doing more damage than enhancements.

Following are two charts that illustrate: 
a) Poor Data Visualisation,
b) Enhanced Data Visualisation through Dashboard.

a) Poor Data Visualisation: 

b) Enhanced Data Visualisation through Dashboard.

Let us further explore the bad data visualization and good data visualization examples in detail.

Example of Bad Data Visualization 

#1: Pie chart with multiple categories

bad data pie chart

Pie charts are leveraged when 2 to 3 product items make up the complete data set. Any more than that, and it is tough for the human eye to differentiate between the parts of a circle.

Notice how difficult it is to differentiate the size of these diverse parts. 

What is the exact difference between India and Russia?

It is rough to calculate the exact size difference. Rather, substitute this with a bar chart.

Example of Good Data Visualization: Precise Bar Chart

good data bar chart

Here you can explicitly calculate the difference between India (6.80%) and Russia (4.90%).

Bar charts will be your go-to option for exact data visualization.

7 Best Data Visualization Tools Which Are Popular In 2022-23

1. Power BI

Power BI is effortless to set up with dashboards and data connectors to on-premise and cloud-based sources such as Salesforce, Azure SQL DB, or Dynamics 365. The open framework enables the creation of custom visuals. 

It possesses default data visualization elements with bar charts, pie charts, maps, and even complex models like waterfalls, funnels, gauges, and other components. 

Power BI is developed and enabled with machine learning abilities, so it can automatedly spot patterns in data using them to make informed predictions through “what if” scenarios. These estimates facilitate users to make forecasts and meet future demands or significant metrics. 

A user can easily save his work to a file, and publish data and reports through Power BI to share with other stakeholders. Power BI is utilized to develop custom dashboards as well as reports as per the relevancy and access of data. 

Through custom visuals SDK, one can generate stunning visualizations, based on rich JavaScript libraries like D3, jQuery, and R-language scripts.

You also might like to read more about our best case study which is Remodelling advertising pricing strategy with Data Analytics 

 

2. Tableau

Tableau has an extensive customer base of more than 57,000 accounts because of its capability to generate interactive visualizations far beyond those offered by standard BI solutions. 

It is best for managing massive and quickly altering datasets utilized in Big Data operations, machine learning, and artificial intelligence applications. Further, it can be integrated with modern database solutions including Amazon AWS, Hadoop, My SQL, Teradata, and SAP.

Developing content in Tableau doesn’t need conventional source control or dev-test-prod-related techniques. You can integrate Tableau content development and deployment into your present development systems.

Publishing data to Tableau is integral to sustaining a single source for accessible data. Publishing facilitates sharing data with colleagues; even those not using Tableau Desktop, however, have required editing permissions. 

The top features of Tableau include Tableau Dashboard, Collaboration and Sharing, Live and In-memory Data, Data Sources, Advanced Visualizations (Chart Types), Maps, Mobile view, and robust security. D3.js is an exclusive JavaScript library that is utilized for Tableau data visualization.

3. MicroStrategy

MicroStrategy provides intuitive tools with data discovery and big data analytics features with an extensive library to visualize data. 

The MicroStrategy platform backs engaging dashboards, scorecards, advanced reports, thresholds, alerts, and automated report distribution. The tool can connect to over 200 data sources which include RDBMS, Cloud data, OLAP, and Big data.

Dossiers are MicroStrategy’s advanced and modern dashboards. To make the dossier to be presentation-ready, one requires to certify it to validate that the content is trustworthy. Once certified, you can share it with the enterprise environment for collaboration and publishing.

MicroStrategy Library is a unique and personalized virtual bookshelf that enables you to access dossiers from one common location. Through the MicroStrategy library, you can reach out to subject matter specialists and have a conversation regarding your data visualizations.

4. Qliksense

The vendor has 40,000+ customer accounts across 100+ countries, offering a highly adaptable setup and extensive features. 

Along with its data visualization abilities, the Qliksense tool even provides business intelligence, and enables the storytelling capacity of dashboards, data analytics, and reporting with a sleek user interface. 

There is also a sturdy community and 3rd party resources obtainable online to assist fresh users in understanding how to incorporate it into their current projects.

The Qliksense dashboard is an influential feature to showcase values from multiple fields simultaneously, and its functionality of data association in memory can showcase the dynamic values in all the available sheet objects. 

Qlik DataMarket® is an integrated data-as-a-service (DaaS) of Qlikview offering an all-inclusive library of data sets from reliable sources. Qliksense developers can use the same and effortlessly enable their analyses with external data sets to have an “outside-in” perspective for deeper insights.

5. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a tool that enables communication and acts on tailored data sets. Programmers, executives, and worldwide team members from diverse departments can match, filter, and well-organize the precise data sets they require swiftly in one single report. No more waiting for numerous and static data reports to fill their inbox.

Data Studio is now an integral part of Google Cloud’s BI solutions. By blending Data Studio with Looker, Google Cloud has the finest of both ends – a structured semantic model and a self-served, simple-to-use front-end app with Data Studio that enables the analysis of unstructured/ungoverned data sets.

6. Apache Superset

Apache Superset is an advanced exploration and data visualization platform. It can substitute or enhance proprietary BI tools for many teams. It blends well with a diversity of data sources.

It offers a no-code interface for swiftly crafting charts. It provides a powerful web SQL Editor for progressive querying and a lightweight semantic layer for rapidly defining custom dimensions and precise metrics.

It provides an extensive array of attractive visualizations to display your data sets, ranging from straightforward bar charts to geospatial visualizations.

7. Looker

Looker Studio is a self-service BI with unmatched suppleness for intelligent business decisions. It helps tell powerful stories by building and sharing interactive reports and data visualizations. 

It assists in transforming your data sets to business metrics and dimensions with intuitive, intelligent reports. The tool enables professionals with significant business metrics by sharing automated dashboards. It helps you generate shareable, tailored charts and graphs with merely a few clicks.

Moving Forward

Extract, transform & load (ETL) are 3 data processes, enabled after data collection. 

Extraction takes data, collected in varied data sources with diverse structures and formats, to the staging database. 

Transformation takes fetched data and applies predefined rules to it, and load takes the transformed data and stores it in Data Warehouse (DW). 

However, this data is multifaceted until it is parsed and showcased in a simplified way. 

Specialists at Data Nectar enable the seamless consumption of significant insights by transforming the data analysis into visual representations with the assistance of Reports and Dashboards to decipher trends, anomalies, and data usage patterns.

At Data Nectar, a data analytics and visualization technology company, we know the real significance of Data Visualization for multiple stakeholders, and we can assist you in choosing precise tools in line with your requirements. 

Further, we enable SMEs and Enterprises with analytics-driven technology solutions to realize enhanced performance and maximize ROI in the process – through data. 

If you all too, as your organization’s decision-makers are willing to discover the vast possibilities Data can bring to your business or industry operations, Call Us Today!

How data analytics help hospitals deliver better patient care

How data analytics help hospitals deliver better patient care

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Data is everywhere and using it for the business advantage is for everyone and not limited to specific industries. Be it an airline, logistics, eCommerce or hospital. Airlines are apparently are of course more operation intensive, asset heavy and arguably, have to comply with more regulations than hospitals. However best operators are managing it exceptionally well by far most hospitals at keeping costs low and making healthy operational margins without losing the focus on delivering customer experience and value for money. Spicejet airlines, for example, has aptly identified and acted upon key operational parameters that pivots the operational performance: Reducing idle time for planes and keeping the seats filled more often than the competitors. Same way some of busiest airports, Fedex and alike are making a positive impact through their service delivery through most feasible and affordable ways. They all operate in asset heavy service industries.

Above examples are simple and have analogical relevance to how a hospital operates.

There are multiple steps, processes, variables, standards and compliances throughout the customer journey. For example in airlines case, operational process entails steps right from booking to checking in to onboarding and then on flight services, compliances and regulations and a set of checking out process. Every of these processes encompases further smalle pieces of operations spanning across a customer’s experience journey. All these operations involve people and not just machines.

Hospitals these days are facing the same pressure on optimising operational efficiencies and asset utilization that probably airlines, retail and transportation industries have faced for long. As Spicejet, Flipkart, FedEx have stayed competitive in asset- intensive services industries by streamlining operations and getting the max out of their available resources. Hospitals cannot have a long term competitive edge if they keep spending and investing more on infrastructures as short terms fixes to challenges. They must rethink how they are utlisting their available assets in the best possible way to gain ROIs.

To do this, hospitals must look at their data with different lenses like airline, transportation players do. Decision making methodologies must be driven by facts backed with statistics and not only based on a limited set of traditionally available information & experience. It is like having an “operational air traffic control system” for hospital – a centralised repository of vital data and systems around it that has capability to integrate process and analyse a vast variety, velocity and amount of data to learn and predict outcomes. Increased awareness of the potential of data and insights are pushing many healthcare organisations to streamlining operations by using data analytics technologies and tools to mine and process large quantities of data to deliver recommendations to administrative and clinical end users.

Business intelligence and Predictive analytics is playing a key role in improving planning and execution decisions for important care delivery processes and resource utilization( Space, Machines, Human) as well as improving scheduling of staff, availability of key equipment & maintenance. These can lead to better care delivery with optimised asset utilisation and lower costs. Few examples:

Operating Room Utilisation

Operating room is one of most revenue generating assets to the tune of more than 55% of revenues for hospitals. Allocation of OR assets has direct impact on care quality, patient’s experience and preparation staff’s bandwidth. However scheduling them in the most efficient way has been bottlenecked by traditional approaches practiced by most hospitals that involved phones and emails. These means of scheduling and rescheduling is tedious when it comes keeping all stakeholders informed. Obviously the scheduling process is tedious, slow and prone to human errors. Coursey to advance data analytics techniques exploiting cloud, mobile and predictive analytical models that help visualise predicted availability and suggesting time slots for better distribution of hospital resources – Human, Machine & Time – leading to take best out of key assets – the OR.

Surgeons can block the time they need with a single click on a mobile app and the connected apps in the hospitals makes it real time communication and confirmation of OR schedules/availability. Concerned staff can be well aware of any changes/cancellation/additional bookings in real time making the entire planning and execution efficient towards delivering better patient care and higher OR utilisations. At UCHealth in Colorado, scheduling apps allow patients to get treated faster (surgeons release their unneeded blocks 10% sooner than with manual techniques), surgeons gain better control and access (the median number of blocks released by surgeon per month has increased by 47%), and overall utilization (and revenue) increases. With these tools, UCHealth increased per-OR revenue by 4%, which translates into an additional $15 million in revenue annually.

Patient wait times

Same way scheduling for infusions in a function of math and timelines. Mathematically, there are enormous permutations and combinations to pick an optimal slot (to avoid staff and material allocation challenges) for a given type of infusion procedure. Not to mention patient wait time is something that hospitals must minimize.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital optimised scheduling based through predictive analytics and machine learning that processed multiple data points around the infusion process to identify patterns and suggest optimised scheduling, resulting in a 45% drop in patient wait times. Infusion center could better manage last-minute add-ons, late cancellations, and no-shows as well as optimize nurses’ work hours.

Emergency Department

Emergency departments are famous for bottlenecks, whether because patients are waiting for lab results or imaging backed up in queues or because the department is understaffed. Analytics-driven software that can determine the most efficient order of ED activities, dramatically reducing patient wait times. When a new patient needs an X-ray and a blood draw, knowing the most efficient sequence can save patients time and make smarter use of ED resources. Software can now reveal historic holdups (maybe there’s a repeated Wednesday EKG staffing crunch that needs fixing) and show providers in real time each patient’s journey through the department and wait times. This allows providers to eliminate recurring bottlenecks and call for staff or immediately reroute patient traffic to improve efficiency. Emory University Hospital, for example, used predictive analytics to forecast patient demand for each category of lab test by time of day and day of week. In so doing, the provider reduced average patient wait times from one hour to 15 minutes, which reduced ED bottlenecks proportionally.

Faster Decisions – ED to inpatient-bed transfer

Predictive tools can also allow providers to forecast the likelihood that a patient will need to be admitted, and provide an immediate estimate of which unit or units can accommodate them. With this information, the hospitalist and ED physician can quickly agree on a likely onboarding flow, which can be made visible to everyone across the onboarding chain. This data-driven approach also helps providers prioritize which beds should be cleaned first, which units should accelerate discharge, and which patients should be moved to a discharge lounge. Using a centralized, data-driven patient logistics system, Sharp HealthCare in San Diego reduced its admit order-to-occupy time by more than three hours.

Efficient Discharge planning

To optimize discharge planning, case managers and social workers need to be able to foresee and prevent discharge delays. Electronic health records or other internal systems often gather data on “avoidable discharge delays” — patients who in the last month, quarter, or year were delayed because of insurance verification problems or lack of transportation, destination, or post-discharge care. This data is a gold mine for providers; with the proper analytics tools, within an hour of a patient arriving and completing their paperwork, a provider can predict with fairly high accuracy who among its hundreds of patients is most likely to run into trouble during discharge. By using such tools, case managers and social workers can create a shortlist of high-priority patients whose discharge planning they can start as soon as the patient is admitted. Using discharge analytics software, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, for example, increased its daily discharge volume by 21%, reduced length of stay by half a day, and increased morning discharges to 24% of all daily discharges.

Making excellent operational decisions consistently, hundreds of times per day, demands sophisticated data science. Used correctly, analytics tools can lower health care costs, reduce wait times, increase patient access, and unlock capacity with the infrastructure that’s already in place.