People wonder and overthink career-related issues, and it is logical. However, taking a decision has more to do only with two factors: what you are good at and how good that is for the market. Today we are going to discuss if pursuing a career in data visualization is worth it or not.
Data visualization tends to be a confusing topic, particularly with the existence of many other data jobs. Beginners often do not recognize what role this activity plays and how much demand there is for data visualization. Before you pick it as your career, there are a few important things that you need to know.
The High Importance of Data Visualization
The plain truth is that although you may have data analysts and other data researchers gather all the best and most useful information in existence all that will not matter if the clients and users cannot understand it. If that happens, all the work is useless. So, the data must be presented in easy-to-use formats that the average layperson can understand. That is why we have data visualization. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Data visualization helps paint that picture, which in turn fosters greater understanding.
Visually representing insights derived from data provides a means for individuals to see and understand data patterns, trends, and outliers. Consider the phrase: “Do I have to draw a picture for you?” aimed at someone who is not grasping the speaker’s topic. Well, data visualization draws us to that picture, presenting facts and figures in a clear, visually appealing way.
Another as important thing, is that a valuable tool in the ongoing process of mastering the vast volumes of information created by big data. It is challenging enough to sift through the floods of big data to find relevant, useful information, let alone look for patterns and trends. That is why data visualization is key for today’s data analysts and other users. Because it helps the data collectors communicate results easier and enables readers to see the trends and patterns smoothly.
Our brains are wired to react to visual stimuli and look for patterns in everything we catch. Data visualization takes advantage of this human instinct and offers a more leisurely way for people to see the information more clearer and draw more accurate conclusions quicker.
4 Data Visualization Techniques
Some specific techniques deserve further explanation. These techniques are often used in many types of data visualization projects and you have to know the basics of them.
1. Scatter Plots
To illustrate the relationship between two variables, scatter plots use x- and y-axes.
Infographics are a group of charts, images, and minimal words that create an easy-to-read, memorable, visually pleasing data visualization presentation. Infographics are commonly very entertaining to see, although they still do an amazing job of relaying useful, relevant information.
3. Fever Charts
Despite the ominous-sounding name, fever charts are quite delicate. Although it references charting a patient’s fever, the term has expanded to include any chart that tracks data that changes continuously over time. For example, brokers use fever charts to track stock prices.
4. Population Pyramids
This data visualization technique uses a stacked bar graph to illustrate a population’s social narrative and is mostly useful for showing population distribution.
Data Visualization: 100% a Growing Field
There is no denying that the age of big data is here. As more and more businesses want to utilize the power of data, visualization is becoming an increasingly crucial instrument because it allows data scientists and data analysts to make sense of the billions of rows of data generated every day. Experts can tell a story by transforming a large volume of information into easy-to-understand visual representations. There is no doubt that data visualization is a critical phase of every company’s data strategy. As big data and machine learning become more important for businesses, data visualization is also bound to grow at the same rate.
Data scientist roles have already grown by over 650% only the last decade, and the field is projected to grow even more at an unbelievable rate. Data visualization is also expected to grow similarly since the two are intimately connected. Nowadays, hundreds of companies want to hire skilled data scientists. And we emphasize “skilled” because not everyone can perform data visualization. This activity is not just about making a pretty graph or including a bunch of info on a graphic, but effective data visualization is achieved only when you balance form and function. The data and the visuals must work together to produce an attractive and coherent representation, combining excellent analysis with exciting storytelling.
Choosing Data Visualization as a Career
Data visualization skills are undoubtedly paramount for the success of every data process. Nonetheless, there is something fundamental you need to know about it before you make it your end goal. Although data visualization is an incredible career choice, there are not yet many openings specifically for the position of data visualization engineer. Many experts believe that there is no such thing as a dedicated position in the industry for it. They believe that data it is just an instrument at the end of a long process performed by data analysts, scientists, and engineers.
Therefore, if you are only making simple pie charts and bar graphs a few hours a week, you have more than enough time to work on other crucial parts of the project. You can build data APIs, handle data storage, analyze existing data, and many other things except the visual representation of data through graphics. The bottom line here is that focusing on data visualization as a career is probably not the best idea yet. Instead, you should master more broad data visualization skills and focus on building other data-related expertise like data science or data analysis. You may specialize in data visualization, but it should just be one tool in your data skills repertoire.
As you can see, data visualization is a wise choice for your future if you are interested in working in this field. Now is up to you to continue your path toward the design industry.