Importance of Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Importance of Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Data visualization in business intelligence condenses complex data into understandable insights, enabling quicker and more informed decision-making.

By: Menahil Shahzad | 5 mins read
Published: May 9, 2024 8:42:13 AM | Updated: May 22, 2024 02:50:09 AM

How can businesses empower their organization to make smarter, data-driven decisions in the age of information overload? 

The key lies in mastering the art of data visualization to lift your business intelligence visualization goals. 

According to one report, Organizational managers using visual data recovery tools are 28% more likely to find information on time than those relying solely on managed reporting and dashboards.

Moreover, it also helps in ROI as investing in business intelligence with data visualization capabilities yields a return of $13.01 for every dollar spent.

This blog aims to help you understand the importance of data visualization in business intelligence. 

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What is Data Visualization in the Context of BI?

Data visualization in business intelligence (BI) is a pivotal bridge between raw data and actionable insights. It helps represent data graphically to enhance comprehension, spot trends, and make informed decisions.

What is Data Visualization in the Context of BI In BI context data visualization, where the goal is to transform data into actionable information to drive operational and strategic decisions, data visualization plays a crucial role.

Various business intelligence and data visualization tools enable communication of key performance indicators (KPIs) and business metrics, fostering a deeper understanding of organizational performance across industries.

Ultimately, data visualization plays a crucial role in boosting the full potential of data and driving business success.

Importance of Business Intelligence Visualization

Do you know 90% of the data sent to the brain is visual, and it's predicted that global data production will exceed 180 zettabytes by 2025?

Importance of Business Intelligence Visualization

Modern businesses are drawn to harnessing data visualization to comprehend critical information and large, complex datasets efficiently. 

As visual beings, humans find it easier to grasp insights when presented visually, making BI tools and analytics solutions more engaging and accessible. 

  • Enhanced Data Analysis:

Examining reports enables business stakeholders to pinpoint areas requiring attention. Visual representations facilitate analysts' comprehension of crucial business elements, be it sales figures or marketing strategies. Through visual data, companies can optimize analysis,  improving decisions and profitability.

  • Simplifying Complex Data:

Data visualization empowers business users to extract insights from vast datasets, identifying patterns and anomalies. Charts, graphs, and dashboards allow users to grasp insights and trends from large datasets quickly, enabling better decision-making and data literacy.

  • Identification of Patterns and Trends: 

Visualization tools enable users to identify patterns, trends, correlations, and outliers within the data that may not be apparent from raw numbers or text. This helps uncover insights that can drive strategic business decisions.

  • Interactive Exploration: 

Many data visualization tools offer interactive features that allow users to drill down into the data, filter it based on various parameters, and explore different perspectives. This interactivity enhances the user experience and enables deeper analysis of the data.

  • Real-time Monitoring: 

Visualization dashboards can provide real-time updates on key metrics and KPIs, allowing businesses to monitor performance continuously and react quickly in the market or internal operations.

  • Identifying Opportunities and Risks: 

By visualizing data from multiple sources and integrating it into a single dashboard, businesses can identify opportunities and risks more effectively. This holistic view enables proactive decision-making and risk management.

  • Predictive Analysis:

Advanced data visualization techniques, such as predictive analytics and machine learning models, can be used to forecast future trends and outcomes based on historical data. This helps businesses anticipate market shifts and plan accordingly.

Types of Data Visualization in BI tools?

In the past, basic data visualization methods like pie charts, line graphs, and tables were commonly employed alongside textual reports and spreadsheets in business intelligence (BI) tools. 

These modern visualization methods aim to make data more accessible and engaging for users, reflecting the evolving needs of data analysis and presentation in today's landscape.

Types of Data Visualization in BI tools?

Here's a breakdown of which business intelligence visualization might work best for representing store sales by region across several states:

  • Area Chart: Use this to show the sales trend over time across regions.
  • Bar Chart: Suitable for comparing sales across different regions in a given time or sales of products within each region.
  • Column Chart: Similar to the bar chart, it compares sales across regions or products.
  • Image Map: Typically used for geographical data visualization. It could be useful to display sales geographically on a map, showing different regions and their sales figures.
  • Meter Chart: Effective for showing the performance of each region against a predefined target or benchmark.
  • Numeric Display: Simple and direct, it shows total sales figures for each region.
  • Pie Chart: Useful for showing the contribution of each region to the total sales or for comparing the sales distribution among regions.
  • Scatter Plots: Help to analyze the relationship between variables, like sales and population density, across different regions.
  • Stacked Bar Chart: Suitable for showing the total sales for each region and how sales are divided among different categories (e.g., product types) within each region.
  • Treemap: Great for displaying hierarchical data, where you show sales at different levels of granularity (e.g., state-level sales within each region).

A combination of bar charts, pie charts, and a map visualization (like an image map or treemap) could effectively convey the data insights to end-users, providing an overview and a detailed breakdown of sales performance across regions and states.

BI Data Visualization Categories

Data visualizations typically belong to six main categories:

BI Data Visualization Categories

  1. Comparison: Allows for comparing metrics across time or different dimensions.
  2. Composition: Illustrates the breakdown or composition of data, often depicted through pie or bar charts.
  3. Distribution: Reveals how values are spread out across time or various dimensions.
  4. KPI (Key Performance Indicators): It highlights the current state or performance metric.
  5. Relationships: Displays the connections or correlations between different metrics, often through scatter plots.
  6. Location: Presents data geographically, whether on a map or another spatial representation like a floor plan.

Examples Of Data Visualization Bussiness Intelligence

Examples Of Data Visualization Bussiness Intelligence

  • Dashboard Analytics: 

Many businesses use dashboard analytics to overview their key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. 

These dashboards often include charts, graphs, and other visual elements to represent data from different businesses, such as sales, marketing, finance, and operations. 

For example, a sales dashboard might feature line charts showing revenue trends over time, pie charts illustrating market share, and bar graphs comparing sales performance across different regions or products. 

Complex data in a visually intuitive format and dashboard analytics enable stakeholders to grasp insights and make informed decisions.

  • Heat Maps: 

Heat maps are powerful tools for analyzing and visualizing large datasets, particularly in customer behavior and market segmentation. 

In the retail industry, for instance, businesses might use heat maps to visualize foot traffic patterns within their stores or to identify hotspots where customers spend the most time. 

In online commerce, heat maps visualize user interactions on a website or app, highlighting high engagement or drop-off. 

Heat maps make it easy to identify trends and outliers, enabling businesses to optimize their operations and improve customer experiences by color-coding data points based on intensity or frequency,

  • Predictive Analytics Visualizations: 

Visualizations help businesses forecast future trends and outcomes based on historical data and predictive models. 

These Bi visualizations often include time-series charts, scatter plots, and decision trees, among other techniques, to illustrate relationships between variables and predict future scenarios. 

For example, a financial institution might use predictive analytics visualizations to forecast customer churn rates or to identify high-value prospects for targeted marketing campaigns. 

Predictive analytics visualizations empower businesses to anticipate market changes, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities proactively by providing insights into future trends and behaviors

Best Practice for Bussiness Intelligence Visualization Reporting  

When crafting data visualizations for Business Intelligence (BI) reporting several key principles are of optimal effectiveness.


  • Audience Alignment: 

You can tailor visualizations to resonate with your specific audience, ensuring relevance and resonance that motivates action based on the data presented.

  • Consistency in Design Elements: 

Maintain uniformity in color schemes and fonts across your visualizations. This consistency aids the audience's attention to pertinent data points and facilitates seamless comprehension.

  • Emphasize Context: 

Contextualize the data within your visualizations, elucidating why it matters and compelling the audience to engage. Pairing visuals with narrative explanations enhances understanding and encourages action.

  • Strategic Formatting and Sorting: 

Arrange data logically, employing appropriate formatting techniques such as bars, labels, and lines to simplify interpretation. A well-organized presentation enhances clarity and facilitates data comprehension.

  • Using Tables:

While visualizations often take center stage, tables remain valuable for presenting dense data. Employ techniques like sparklines and conditional formatting to ensure tables are as impactful and insightful as charts and graphs.

  • Accuracy in Representation: 

Ensure accuracy in depicting values within visualizations, establishing meaningful connections where data relationships exist. Avoid unnecessary embellishments, such as lines in line charts, and opt for more suitable representations like columns or bars.

For a comprehensive understanding of data visualization best practices, refer to our embedded video guide for detailed insights.


In short, data visualization is a crucial component of modern business intelligence, enabling organizations to transform complex data into actionable insights. 

From enhancing analysis to facilitating real-time monitoring and predictive analytics, its benefits are vast. 

By adhering to best practices in reporting, businesses can use visualization to make informed decisions swiftly and confidently, driving success in an increasingly data-driven world.


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