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    the application, which (Practical) delivered." - Franklin Park

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What is Data Visualization?

What is Data Visualization?

Data Visualization is replacing the old “Spreadsheet” paradigm with a new paradigm with a new visual paradigm for data, where data is presented to users as a set of synchronized interactive data views, each of which is an interactive chart.

A typical data chart shows a 3-dimensional data set using a line chart. While modern day visualization technology provides a 5 or 6-dimensional view of a multi-dimensional data set using a motion bubble chart. This is Professor Hans Rosling’s (technology which was purchased by Google) original motion chart demo, which shows the type of work that Practical Computer Applications (PCA) produces for clients.


This new visual paradigm enables users to instinctively see previously hidden stories in the data, including: patterns, clusters, trends, outliers, distributions, compositions, comparisons and data relationships. Our clients find information faster and make better decisions. Here are some of the things that data visualization enables our clients to do:

  • We can visually discover trends and tendencies among measures, attributes and parameters
  • Outliers, anomalies, exceptions, and data errors will be visually presented to us
  • We will see clusters, relationships and relative sizes in datasets
  • We may visually analyze the composition of totals, comparison and distribution of data points
  • We can see special, similar, or unusual data to trigger automatic or visual alerts
  • We can find a “Needle in Haystack” by interactively drill-down to specific details

Old fashion Business Intelligence (BI) software originally targeted a narrow audience for its ad-hoc reports and analytics. The size and use of large modern datasets are rapidly increasing in direct contradiction to the static nature of reports. The process of sorting, filtering, moving columns and wading through lists is time consuming and filled with trial-and-error guesses about the data. We are all used to looking at spreadsheet-style tabular reports with thousands of “data cells” from databases (the spreadsheet below has data used in the Line Chart above):

Almost 1000 Spreadsheet Cells!

Learn more about data visualization with business dashboards  and data views (See Excel 2010-based Demos, and for those who prefer, Excel 2007 Demos) . Best  practices for Choosing Charts we are discussed here. Data Visualization requires a lot of data analytics with technologies like SQL Server Analysis Services and best in-memory Columnar Databases. In many cases the best custom solution is a Smart Client  if the customer needs the the most advanced Data Visualization.

See PCA’s Data Visualization Demos