Visualization and Big Data: new technology trends
In this article, Kirill Degtiarenko, director of Business Development Center at IBA Group, and Mark Hillary, blogger, journalist and editor, discuss visualization and Big Data as new challenges for enterprise technologies.
We live in the era of Big Data. The amount of data that come to us from different sources is so enormous, that we are unable to read or analyze it. “This is where data visualization can help”, says Kirill Degtiarenko.
“How important is visual information in your business? What do you think of as visual anyway – a chart on Excel or some other reporting system?” asks Mark Hillary.
KD: They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we see how images today seize the online content. People and companies document their lives with photos. The web is turning into a visual landscape.
MH: Take a look around the Internet. It is becoming more visual. Consumers are getting used to ‘reading’ Instagram and Pinterest in the same way they used to read the newspaper and this is affecting corporate life. A manager today will not want to read a dense report packed with numbers. Visual information has always been useful, but now it’s essential if you want to convey a message within your organisation.
KD: According to Visual Teaching Alliance, “it is hard to argue with the observation that the generation of students now moving into and through our educational system is by far the most visually stimulated generation… In fact, research shows that 65% of our students are visual learners.”http://visualteachingalliance.com/?page_id=522
Data visualization is already mainstream. With the help of visual presentation, complicated and potentially dull information becomes easily understandable and comprehensible.
MH: Visual web is an important trend that is changing how content is consumed on the Internet in general, but is also changing the expectation of how managers consume content within organisations.
KD: Clarity and ease of grasp make a report efficient. Based on visualized data, it is possible to make a timely and grounded management decision. High quality visualization enables managers to achieve good business results.
MH: 2013 was the year when images surpassed text as the most popular means of communicating online. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook have become the most popular ways to communicate and these tools are largely visual.
Storing and managing all these images is becoming an enormous big data problem too. There is a growing need to take control of Big Data that is becoming more urgent each day. Ninety per cent of all the data that exists in the world today was created in the past two years, according to analyst firm IDC. The average American office worker generates 5,000mb of data every day just by working on documents, sending emails, or downloading videos. By 2015 the amount of data we are creating now will have doubled – we are exponentially creating more and more data faster and faster.
Figures from IDC also suggest that data creation will have grown by 2000% from now to 2020. And regular consumers create 75% of all this new data. This is because 87% of American adults constantly publish their location – often unknowingly – via their mobile phone and 65 billion location tagged payments are made in the US annually.
All this automatically published information combined with images and video mean that the way we communicate is changing fast. This affects the way companies hire, the way they market their services, and the way they communicate internally.
KD: The BI market is also shifting, from tables and spreadsheets to diagrams and infographics. It is inherent to a human being to perceive visual images quicker than plain text or numbers. We “read” graphical information several times quicker than data in a spreadsheet. The user can see the key data at a glance and therefore make efficient analysis and a grounded decision.
MH: Organisations in many industries are now facing pressure to explore Big Data, to find how they can get value from mining the information they have on clients and transactions, but it needs tools and expertise to get right.
Enterprise technologies will need to reflect the established public networks if corporate communication – internal and external – is going to succeed in future.
KD: IBA Group responds by including Big Data technologies, such as Tableau Software, Hadoop, Oozie, and Hbase in their service portfolio. Some of our customers in the mobile telecommunications industry were already able to feel the benefits of analyzing huge data arrays with the Big Data technologies.