Data Visualization reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.
Data visualization software translates data and metrics into charts and graphs to help companies track business metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time so they can better understand performance and goals.
Data visualization software allows users to create dashboards with scorecards and easy-to-interpret visualizations of company data to follow the trends and KPIs. Many data visualization tools provide drag-and-drop functionality and other non-technical capabilities, so the average business user can build necessary dashboards. However, some do offer the ability to create dashboards using code. Data visualization solutions can consume data from many sources, including file uploads, databases, and business applications. Connecting certain applications or databases may require some IT involvement or coding knowledge.
These tools are specifically designed to benchmark and visualize important metrics and are not intended to be used for data analysis. While some data visualization products may offer drill-down or data joining functionality, their primary purpose is to provide dashboards and visualizations to monitor business-critical data. Users looking for analysis specific tools should look to business intelligence platforms and self-service business intelligence software.
To qualify for inclusion in the Data Visualization category, a product must:
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Data visualization software is a basic analytics tool for business users to easily consume and interpret data, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other critical metrics with the use of dashboards. These dashboards can pull data from a number of sources, including databases and spreadsheets, and other applications, such as CRM systems and digital analytics tools. Users can build a variety of visuals based on the data sets to easily track and measure important metrics. Such chart types include column charts, bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, tables, general tracking meters, maps for geographical data, and even just raw numbers.
Data visualization tools are the most simplistic in the business intelligence category of software. They are built to display data in one central location instead of forcing employees to dig through different solutions to find important metrics. Business intelligence platforms, self-service business intelligence software, and embedded business intelligence software all contain more in-depth analytics features, such as drill downs, and are most often used by analysts or data scientists. But for companies interested in displaying visual analytics dashboards, data visualization tools are the proper applications.
Setting up and implementing data visualization tools are relatively straightforward compared to implementing other business intelligence tools. It may require a bit of development knowledge to connect the product to a database or third-party application. However, if a non-developer is interested in building a visualization using a spreadsheet, implementation is basic.
Key Benefits of Data Visualization Software
The main reason for using data visualization is to track real-time data, metrics, goals, and KPIs. Businesses frequently set goals very high, so tracking each metric as teams and companies progress is important. By displaying data visualizations of each KPI, businesses can reinforce the importance of these goals and even help prioritize work based on which metrics need the most attention. General business metrics may include web traffic, revenue, and customer acquisition, among others. With data visualizations products, it is easy to pull those business metrics from data sources such as digital analytics and CRMs, so that employees do not need to find them on their own.
Outside of this initial benefit to using data visualization software, another advantage is that data visualization tools help users easily understand critical business data. By using data visualization solutions, employees and businesses can easily interpret data. It makes the purpose of the information very evident for all users. If employees can understand the business data, then they can align around long-term goals and improve overall company growth.
Critical business data is different among every company and industry, so allowing for extensive customization is beneficial. There is no one-size-fits-all business dashboard; therefore, pulling data in from a variety of sources is useful and necessary. When new employees start, it is helpful to understand said critical business data, and with the help of data visualization tools, that understanding is simplified.
Data visualization software also allows users to quickly and easily identify trends in business metrics. If certain metrics are not on pace to hit month-end, quarter-end, or year-end goals, companies can see that up front with data visualization tools. Based on how KPIs are tracking, businesses can adjust their strategies and methods for attaining goals. Being able to react to data is an important overall strategy for greater business modernization and digital transformation.
All employees have an opportunity to utilize data visualization software; however, there are a number of roles that can use the solutions in different ways. For example:
C-level executives – C-suite employees utilize data visualization tools as KPI dashboards to keep a holistic view of all company goals and how they are progressing. Instead of needing to check in with every team, or dig into disparate software for each KPI, a CEO can track all company metrics in one location. If a CFO wants to observe all financial metrics, data visualization is an option instead of needing to go through accounting and CRM products to find necessary information. Additionally, C-level executives may take dashboards into board meetings to help illustrate how the company is performing as a whole.
Sales teams – There are many use cases for sales teams when it comes to data visualization solutions, and not just to track revenue numbers or how many deals they have closed. Business development teams often connect sales acceleration tools as a data source to track how many calls each rep is making or how many meetings they are setting up. Sales managers can track individual account representatives’ performances to see how much revenue and deals each of their employees are closing, and how much they have in the pipeline. They may also set goals and determine how they are tracking on a quarterly or yearly progression. Displaying personal metrics with data visualization tools is one method to help motivate sales employees to hit their quotas.
Marketing teams – For marketers, data visualization solutions are ideal for recording real-time data when it comes to customer and prospect interactions. Users are able to pull specific digital analytics metrics, such as web traffic, and easily visualize progress. Additionally, marketers can see how email campaigns or advertising campaigns are progressing, whether that be open rates or how many impressions Facebook, Twitter, and other social advertisements campaigns are receiving. Businesses benefit by quickly visualizing conversion rates and cost-per-customer acquisition, among many other key marketing metrics.
Customer service teams – There are a variety of different instances where data visualization software is helpful for customer support teams, whether they be in a contact center or receiving customer inquiries via a help desk, among other scenarios. Representatives at call centers can visualize the number of calls they have taken that day, how many calls are waiting to be answered, and how long the average call has been, among many other business-critical data points. For support teams that use a help desk, users benefit from data visualization by tracking how many tickets they have resolved and how many are still in their queues. Customer success teams may choose to measure KPIs such as customer retention or churn rates to ensure they are maintaining the appropriate number of customers.
Human resources teams – Data is aplenty for recruiters and human resources professionals, so having a single dashboard to display the information is advantageous. Recruiting coordinators can track how many applications have been submitted for specific roles or monitor how many times the career page has been viewed. Other general human resources professionals use it to display employee engagement, whether that is an overall satisfaction of work life within a company or a gamification of certain tasks. Even third-party services such as Glassdoor may be a data source for businesses interested in tracking their rating at all times.
Development teams – If a business is responsible for running multiple applications and needs to track performance in real time, data visualization tools are an excellent way to keep tabs on all of them simultaneously. This allows development teams to react to potential bugs or issues quickly and ensure that performance is trending in the correct direction. Some data sources valuable to development teams include databases, public cloud infrastructure as a service offerings, and application performance monitoring software.
While data visualization software might seem fairly straightforward, there are some features that impact the user experience with these tools. The main feature, and often most critical component buyers should look for when purchasing data visualization software, is which data sources the tool can integrate with and pull from. Most solutions can pull from SaaS applications, cloud and on-premise databases, and even solutions built in-house. But, if one of the main reasons for a company purchasing a data visualization software is to track marketing campaigns, but the tool cannot integrate with the marketing automation tool the business is already using, then it defeats the purpose.
Tracking real-time data is another important feature of data visualization software. Being able to observe progress and trends in a business’ KPIs in real time ensures that employees can react and improve on strategies and methods.
Mobile functionality is often offered by data visualization vendors, so users can observe and track business metrics regardless of their physical location. In today’s business world, employees are often on the go, so the ability to see dashboards from mobile phones or tablets is convenient. This is important for C-level employees who might not always be in the office.
The ability to share dashboards is another important feature of data visualization software. If a sales leader needs to send numbers to a company’s board of directors, easily emailing an entire dashboard is quick and easy. It is also beneficial to be able to share metrics internally with teams via email, if employees are unaware of how metrics are progressing.
There are some data visualization solutions that are targeted at specific industries or teams within a company, making them more unique than general data visualization software. A marketing team may opt to use a marketing analytics solution, since they only want to visualize and track progress for specific marketing metrics. There are also sales analytics tools that only track sales metrics.
Additionally, many software products have some type of data visualization within them. For example, a CRM or help desk tool might have data visualization features, but they differ in the sense that these are simply features, not the main function of the product.