Data Visualization vs. Reporting which is best?

You might have the impression that in today’s world, where for the production of one item, there exist thousands of organizations, life has become easier. That’s true but only for the consumers. The massive competition is making the survival of producers difficult in the market, where any wrong step can ruin the reputation of their organization. 

So, they not only have to provide useful information but also have to make it presentable and attractive. And for this purpose, data organizing methods, like Reporting and Data Visualization comes on board.   

Data Visualization vs. Reporting – which is best?

Both Data visualization and reporting are ways to represent data but they have different approaches. Reporting is quite hectic as it represents the data in a comprehensive form which gets difficult to internalize and that is why data visualization is considered best. The convenience it provides by converting the information into visuals helps in many ways as it only makes the information easy to understand.

Data visualization

When there’s a lot of information that it gets hard to remember, it is converted into visuals like graphs, charts, patterns, etc., through a process that is referred to as data visualization. This process is done to make it easy to learn and understand that bulk of information.

Humans are more flexible to the graphics than the written documents, their eyes catch the images more easily. Data visualization applies statistical graphics, plots, database graphics, and other methods to convey information effectively and efficiently. To graphically communicate a statistical message, numerical data can be encrypted using dots, lines, or bars. Users can interpret and argue about data and facts with the aid of effective visualization. It improves the accessibility, comprehension, and usability of complex data.

Output Control in Strategic Managem... x
Output Control in Strategic Management

Data Visualization Techniques

Data visualization is being used in a variety of fields to represent complex processes that are difficult to see directly, such as weather patterns, health conditions, and numerical structures. We’ll go over some of the most common data visualization methods and techniques below:

  • Visualize Big Data
  • Word Clouds and Network Diagrams for Unstructured Data
  • Scatter Plot
  • Box and Whisker Plot for Larger Data 
  • Correlation Matrices

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Big Data visualization

Presentation of a large amount of data in graphical format to make it easy to interpret is a technique called big data visualization.

Companies today produce and gather information continuously. Because of the pace, scale, and diversity of data that must be assessed, the massive amount of data that was produced created new challenges to visualization. 

Word Clouds and Network Diagrams for Unstructured Data

Because semi-structured and unstructured data need new visualization techniques, the diversity of massive data creates challenges. Through this technique the frequency of a word within a body of the article is represented in a word cloud by its actual size in the cloud.

Scatter Plot

When you add more than two techniques for visualization, a scatter plot matrix is created, which is a set of scatter plots showing any possible pairing of the measures.

Box and Whisker Plot for Larger Data

A binned box plot with whiskers presents the distribution of wide data and allows outliers to be quickly identified. In general, it’s a graphical representation of five statistics that summarizes a collection of data’s distribution. Excessive values are represented by whiskers extending beyond the box’s borders. Box plots are frequently used to illustrate data outliers.

Correlational Matrices

By merging big data and fast response times, a correlation matrix allows for better classification of relationships among variables. Correlation matrices may be used to summarize results, as an input to a more advanced method, or as a diagnostic tool for a more sophisticated approach.

Reporting

Both “the public reporting of cost and revenue data by a business company” and “the routine supply of services to decision-makers inside an organization to assist them in their job” are referred to as “business reporting” or “enterprise reporting.” It’s an important part of a broader push for better business intelligence and information management.

Extract, convert, and load (ETL) techniques are often used in conjunction with a database system, followed by the use of one or more reporting methods. Reports may be printed out, emailed, or retrieved via a company’s website. With the advancement in information technology, the development of consolidated reports, which combine various perspectives of an organization, has increased. With the advancement in information technology, the development of consolidated reports, which bring together various perspectives of an entity in one location, has increased. To create a human-readable text, this reporting procedure requires searching sources of information using various logical templates.

Reporting Techniques

  • Defining the purpose
  • Assembling Ideas
  • Using concise language
  • Editing and Proofreading

Defining the Purpose

You will have to identify the purpose of your report first before getting to the writing part. This way, your time won’t waste and you’ll know the aim behind your report while writing the whole of your content. And automatically it will have a specific direction.

Assembling Ideas

To make it simple to read and comprehend all the important information, your business report or memo should reflect a logical path of thought. You’ll have to make a self-outline to assist you in establishing a consistent framework to follow.

Using Concise Language

Start with getting the idea conveyed quickly while maintaining a professional tone when writing a business report. Be concise and straightforward. Don’t wander from your point, and avoid using complex language or needless jargon in your text. Don’t be dull, but don’t use plain words. Use active sentences to keep your content interesting.

Editing and proofreading

Once you’ve finished writing your report document, remove anything that doesn’t contribute to the content’s objective. Reread your writing often, preferably after each major edit, and read it aloud. When you can really hear errors, it’s easier to spot them.

Pros and Cons of Data Visualization 

PROSCONS
More UnderstandableMisleading
AttractiveWrong correlation
Credibility Estimation
Better Remembrance Distraction
Easy to Investigate
Relation Between Events

PROS OF DATA VISUALIZATION
The visualization of data makes it easier to understand even for a layperson. It has been observed that 48% of the desired information can be identified without technical support in visual data. The colors and labels also help in differentiating the data and hence better conveyance of information occurs.
The charts and tables make the data look attractive to its readers. Of course, the reader will pay attention to the information that is easy to understand and looks nice to the eyes.
The main point of view is often missed by the readers while reading lengthy paragraphs. Data visualization enables the reader to go through every point and understand the exact message of the author and hence adds credibility.
We cannot deny the fact that we always used to convert boring, long paragraphs into flowcharts so that we could easily memorize them. The visualized information is easier to remember as compared to text.
Data visualization analyzes data much easier and hence accurate analysis takes place. This is again because of the clear understanding of the context that enables even a salesperson to analyze or investigate the information.
Through Data Visualization, we can categorize business data according to different occasions. This will help the organization to understand how much effort they should put in normal holidays, weekdays, and Christmas holidays.
CONS OF DATA VISUALIZATIONThe understanding of visual data depends upon how the reader interprets it. Most readers fail to interpret the information correctly and hence the actual information conveyed by the author is misunderstood. 
The relation between different scales, or different events is not as simple as shown by Data Visualization. Data visualization ignores the uncertainties that may happen.
Although the analysis of data through data visualization is simpler and its results are not accurate because they are based on estimations and assumptions.
The perception or interpretation of the reader may shift his focus from the main point to something that’s not important. Or sometimes the person who covers the information into visuals also misunderstands the data and caused biasedness.

Pros and Cons of Business Reporting 

Mentioned below are the Pros and Cons of Business Reporting

PROSCONS
AssessmentTime Taking
ComparisonCostly
Regulatory ComplianceNot Always Accurate
ComprehensiveNeglect Qualitative Information

Pros of Business Reporting
Business reporting helps in the identification of the strengths and the weakness of the business, and provides a better assessment of the performance of the business. 
Business reporting helps compare the performance and financial statistics of the business between different times and different tools.
Business reports are sometimes needed to provide government regulations. So, reports make it easy to present financial statements and performances to them.
Reports provide comprehensive information about the business which are based on experiences and researches
Cons of Business ReportingThe business reports are much time taking. There required a vast review of the literature to understand and evaluate the performance.
More the time required; the more will be the cost of any project. Sometimes, surveys and interviews are needed which may increase the cost factor of the company.
The lack of knowledge and information may cause inaccuracy in the results of business reports.  
There can be the potential of neglecting the qualitative information in the reports because they need more effort.

Data Visualization vs. Business reporting – which one is best? 

Both help in the reporting of data. Data visualization oversimplifies the information and can be misleading but it makes data understandable. Business reporting is a comprehensive form of data that provides all the necessary details but it is often complex and time-consuming.

When a company is making big revenues from its production, then there’s no harm in investing more in reporting to get better results and better decision-making. So, although business reporting is hectic, it is more beneficial for a business so that better decisions can be made.    

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Emidio Amadebai

As an IT Engineer, who is passionate about learning and sharing. I have worked and learned quite a bit from Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Analysts, and Key Decision Makers almost for the past 5 years. Interested in learning more about Data Science and How to leverage it for better decision-making in my business and hopefully help you do the same in yours.

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