Data visualization has lasting impact

Data visualization is among business intelligence's hottest new toys for executives looking to clean up the often messy presentation of their big data, and it's set for further improvements this year with the rise of real-time analytics.

Unlike Excel, data visualization is almost entirely automated. It offers a more dynamic viewing experience capable of incorporating any range of colors, images, videos or sounds to make sense of the information acquired. Consumers can also use it to create personalized analytics, such as mapping all Walmarts in the United States, like one Twitter fan recently did.

But big data isn't all fun and games. The large amount of information stored online poses an inherent risk to those looking to harness it. Primarily, there's too much data and there isn't sufficient infrastructures to keep it all safe. 

Data visualization combines with predictive modeling
Big data gets really interesting when data visualization is combined with statistical models for predicting behavior. According to Business2Community, predictive modeling can be used alongside visualization and analytics services to provide videos mapping out the prospective progress of current markets and trends. Not only can marketers see into the future of specific corporations based on current activities and past records, they can also use this information to change their tactics before meeting with a potential disaster situation.

Real-time analytics will allow marketers to perform complex predictive modeling for consumer purchases at the exact moment of buying. In the past, this has been troublesome, with consumers' in-store purchases rarely factoring into any sort of online databases. As more consumers find their goods online and more stores include digital records for their sales, real-time analytics could allow sales departments direct and constant access to a stream of consumer trends.

EBay blown away by visualization
According to InfoWorld, eBay has 108 million active users and sold over $68 billion in goods last year, all thanks to cloud computing, business intelligence and data visualization.

It makes sense that the world's largest public marketplace would have a lot of information in storage. Now, employees can access 52 petabytes of data regarding user behavior, online transactions, shipment times and more. In order to accomplish this, eBay's IT department has created three separate analytics environments, two for highly secure storage and one for unstructured data workloads.

The online auction site serves as a strong example for companies looking to make better use of their Excel-structured marketing information. New analysis tools will continue helping businesses in the foreseeable future. 

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