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Data Visualization provides rapid insights

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Data visualization continues to show strong growth, driven by the need for rapid decision making and ever-increasing volumes of data. Its growth has been enabled by the pervasiveness of cloud technology and visualization tools that populate dashboards in near real time and allow business users to interact directly with their data, in some cases via natural language queries. The combination of cloud data storage with the availability of SaaS products for data visualization has opened new markets for small and medium-sized businesses. Common use cases of visualization for companies of all sizes are in sales, marketing, and inventory management.

The value of visualization lies not only in its ability to present data in a way that is more meaningful to data consumers and easier to absorb than numerical, but also in the ease with which it facilitates data exploration. Many visualization tools allow users to click on a datapoint in a graph or chart to gain access to additional details. Users can also easily change date ranges or predefined assumptions, such as what happens if a product delivery is delayed, and dynamically see the impact.

The global data visualization market was $9.48 billion in 2020, according to Emergen Research, and is expected to grow about 10% per year to reach $20.16 billion in 2028. Emergen Research cites the increased use of various kinds of charts in news and social media platforms that are accessed by the general public as one of the additional drivers for data visualization. Specialized tools designed for verticals are expanding the use of data visualization in certain industries such as financial services and retail. It’s a crowded field, with dozens of options, both from BI solutions that contain visualization tools and from standalone products.

Data-driven aided by visualization

Although small companies often face an uphill battle against large and well-established competitors, they can actually gain an edge over such companies by starting out being data-driven. In contrast, companies with legacy systems may need to endure time-consuming and disruptive processes as part of a digital transformation. Odele, a recent startup based in Minneapolis, manufactures and sells a line of beauty products that is intended to streamline the number of different products a family needs to buy for hair and skin care. Rather than have different versions for men, women, and children, Odele designed products to be safe and practical for all family members, as well as affordable.

For a brief interval, Odele relied on spreadsheets to track sales and model its data, but quickly realized that a more powerful application was needed in order to understand the dynamics of its business. The company identified Domo, an end-to-end data app platform, as the solution that would provide the insights the company needed to support its decision making. After having successfully marketed its products to major retailers such as Target, Odele wanted to build relationships with these companies and the customers who were buying its products.

A high priority was inventory management, because as a relative newcomer in the market, Odele recognized the competitive importance of keeping its products available. Domo lets Odele track the inventory in each store and adjust distribution as needed. In addition, Domo provides visualizations that reflect the impact of price changes and promotions. The data that Odele collects and analyzes is very detailed, allowing for precise forecasts. Graphical representations of inventory allow Odele to understand at a glance what the inventory turnover in each store is as well as basic metrics, such as sales by store.

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