Data Visualization in Business Intelligence: The Complete Guide

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Table of Contents

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence has become increasingly important in today’s business world. Visual depictions of large datasets help businesses to make sense of their data, discover trends and relationships that would be difficult to uncover through numerical representations alone and gain powerful insights into consumer behavior and market opportunities. 

In this guide, we will explore what data visualization business intelligence is, best practices for creating compelling visuals that aid decision-making, and dive deeper into the various types of data visualization business intelligence available for leveraging insights from your datasets.

What is Data Visualization in Business Intelligence?

Data Visualization is a powerful tool for converting complex data into easy-to-understand graphics, allowing insights to be quickly derived from the information presented. Visualizing data in various formats, such as pie charts, comparison bars, and demographic maps, allows logical connections between units to be easily seen. This allows us to understand better trends and patterns hidden within it – transforming raw facts into deeper insight with minimal effort.

Companies are leveraging the power of Data Visualization to drive their analytics solutions forward, allowing users to comprehend quantitative information in an easy-to-understand and engaging way quickly. With modern tools for self-service BI reporting, businesses can more easily share crucial insights with their end customers.

With interactive Data Visualization tools, companies can now bring their KPIs and business metrics to life. By combining these visuals with compelling storytelling, it’s possible to provide a well-rounded understanding of the critical elements driving success in any organization.

Enterprises of all sizes and from diverse industries, such as retail, science, finance, and healthcare, are leveraging the power of BI solutions to break down their data for improved insights into business performance. To maximize this potential, various Data Visualization tools provide an effective way to unlock meaningful information further.

Common Types of Data Visualizations

Representing Data Visualization makes it easier to digest. Pie graphs and bar charts are often used to illustrate the amount of something or compare different sets – but businesses can graphically interpret their information in many more ways. In BI and analytics contexts, we see a wide range of visualization tools; each tailored ideally toward displaying specific relationships within datasets.

Bar chart

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Bar charts offer dynamic opportunities to compare data. By combining clusters, stacking bars, or choosing horizontal bar charts as needed, businesses can use this graphic to display information.

This type of visualization is especially useful in BI processes where interactivity and clarity are both essential; the simple graphics make it easy for readers to quickly take away meaningful insights into their market segments or item categories.

Bar charts are an efficient way to compare objects or numeric data. Their horizontal format accommodates more extended labels, making them more detailed and easier to read. For the ultimate comparison breakdown of each object, stacks in bars offer insight into moments that may have been overlooked otherwise.

Pie chart

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Pie charts are an invaluable asset to any marketing or sales team, as they provide a quick and easy way of illustrating the proportionate composition of objects. Use this tool to visualize how individual components contribute to a whole thing or compare unit-to-unit ratios.

Line graph

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Line graphs illustrate trends and show how an item’s value has evolved. Combining them with bar charts further expands their power, allowing data from multiple dimensions to be displayed simultaneously.

Ideal uses of line graphs include tracking the progression of items such as weather patterns, stock exchanges, or any other phenomenon that changes dramatically within a given duration.

Box plot

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Source: Wiki

Box plots offer an essential insight into the distribution of complex objects, allowing us to quickly identify deviations from the median value in a horizontal fashion. With just one glance at these visual representations, we can immediately see and compare everything from minimums and maximums through quartiles with remarkable accuracy. Leveraging box plots can be incredibly beneficial when analyzing data sets for meaningful trends.

Scatter plot

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Source: Econometrics with R

Scatter plots are an effective way of displaying data in two dimensions. By plotting a series of points on the graph, each representing certain qualities, we can immediately tell how these elements compare and contrast. The only constraint is that there must be at least two axes to work correctly – beyond this limitation, further creative solutions must be sought.

This type of visualization shows excellent promise as a tool for comparing distributions or depicting relationships between objects quickly and accurately; perfect when needing insight into critical metrics fast.

Radar or spider chart

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Source: Edrawsoft

Radar charts offer a unique way to interpret data – visually. With several axes and variables, you can create spiderweb formations that showcase the units’ inclinations compared to one another. This type of chart is ideal for evaluating multiple characteristics at once or demonstrating complex relationships between objects.

Dot map or density map


Source: Datavizcatalogue

With density maps, you can easily visualize the distribution or concentration of units in a geographical domain. Each dot on the map denotes either a single unit or multiple objects situated within an area – giving viewers an easy-to-understand representation that may not require precise measurement metrics for visual clarity. These are incredibly useful if you aim to represent data locations and their relative densities at scale.

Funnel charts

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Funnel charts are an effective way to visualize processes with multiple steps and different relationships between items. They utilize geometric form, color coding, and percentages of value/objects to demonstrate the various stages in a process. For example, emerging trends or narrowing correlations over time can be made more visible when looking at a funnel chart.

This type of visualization is perfect when getting insight into specific areas where there could be improvement within projects or business objectives.

What are the categories of Data Visualizations?

Most types of Data Visualization today fall into six distinct categories:

  1. Comparison – Consider how performance has changed over time or between dimensions, presenting a powerful insight into your business operations.
  2. Composition – Describe the makeup of your numbers like pie or bar charts.
  3. Distribution – Show how values are distributed by time, the dimensionality value.
  4. KPI – Emphasize the current status of your metrics
  5. Relationships – Show the relationship between metrics, such as a scatter plot.
  6. Location – Show your data on a map, floor plan, etc.

Making an impactful Data Visualization requires forethought – analyzing what insights must be shared and who will use them. Correctly mapping out these details beforehand allows you, your team, and end-users to understand the best way to share information through a visual medium for maximum effect.

Why is Data Visualization so important for BI?

Data Visualization is a powerful tool for gaining insight and understanding when faced with complex information. By 2025, global big data production is expected to surge significantly.

To make the most of this growth, organizations must utilize tools that make translating incoming data for their stakeholders easier. With its ability to quickly uncover valuable insights from an ocean of business-critical facts and figures, it’s clear why many businesses have already put visual representation at the top of their priority list.

With the help of visually engaging dashboards, business users can explore their data sets in an easy-to-understand format. Through dynamic illustrations that make large amounts of information understandable and exciting, these tools provide management with up-to-date insights into their organization’s performance and growth, ultimately facilitating smarter decisions for future endeavors.

Drive better decision-making with Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Data Visualization has the power to bring ideas to life with stunning visuals – but its actual value lies in helping organizations make better decisions. Here are a few ways Data Visualization helps with strategic decision-making:

See the big picture: With Data Visualization, you can discover hidden insights in the vast amount of transaction, interaction, and behavioral data your systems store. Uncovering trends and patterns that are otherwise hard to spot with numbers alone allows for a broader understanding of performance across multiple business areas.

Identify the significance: Digging into your data gives you the power to identify pivotal insights that can inform smarter strategic decisions, uncover areas of improvement, and guide resources toward success. Make it a priority to understand the significance of what’s in front of you – you’ll be rewarded with more effective operations across all levels.

Make informed decisions: Arm yourself with powerful data-driven insights to enable you to make informed choices. With objective numerical evidence, your moves are based on facts instead of gut instincts, so each decision is the right one for long-term success.

Track trends over time:

  • Gain actionable insights into the performance of your business by tracking trends over time.
  • Begin with a baseline and observe shifts in patterns to spot where things are off track, so you can make strategic decisions that drive success.
  • Monitor progress and use emerging trends to avoid any sign of lowered performance.

Best practice Data Visualization for BI reporting

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

There are many general best practice principles to adhere to when designing your Data Visualization for BI reporting.

Define your audience

Establish an understanding of the individuals you strive to inform and engage when designing a Data Visualization. Craft your design with their needs in mind, giving them ample motivation to take action on its insights.

Keep colors and fonts consistent

Colors and fonts create a practical visual guide for the user. Utilize strategic colors to draw attention where necessary and aid with data comprehension; select complementary themes to maintain a cohesive look throughout your design – this will help keep users focused on important information while ensuring a positive experience.

Context is key

To maximize the impact of your data, include a narrative that contextualizes it. Show your audience why their actions matter – pair attractive visuals with compelling storytelling to spark action and create lasting results.

Use formatting and sorting

Create logical visual order out of data by using formatting and sorting. Visual cues like bars, icons, labels, and lines are influential aids in organizing information for users to understand easily.

Know when to hero tables

Dashboards are often designed to capture viewers’ attention, and visualizations typically achieve this goal. But tables can also be mighty depending on their dataset – use sparklines or conditional formatting for an eye-catching display that is just as engaging as any chart or graph.

Present values accurately

Presenting accurate values is essential. Connections between data points should only be shown when a relationship can be supported. For instance, line charts are only sometimes necessary, and often, it may make more sense to use columns or bars instead.

Popular Data Visualization Business Intelligence tools

Integration of data sources is automated, so you can spend more time creating your report than worrying about where the dataset came from. When everything’s set, plug in the details and use the canvas provided by this robust tooling to generate captivating visuals that tell meaningful stories.

You can construct an informative report by combining creative visualizations from various settings and data properties. Its versatile functionality makes reports easily exportable as CSV files or shareable with system users for easy collaboration.

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence

Here are four popular Data Visualization Business Intelligence tools:


Looker is a powerful data analytics tool for businesses of all sizes, providing an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, customizable dashboards, and exportable reports. With its comprehensive API integration capabilities, users can query databases from any device or platform and integrate their solutions with third-party providers.

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a powerful BI product that provides valuable insights to suit your needs. With an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface, web application capabilities, integration with multiple data sources (including Google products by default), SQL query support, embeddable reports, and shareable analytics access – the features of this platform are designed for maximum efficiency.


Tableau is a comprehensive end-to-end solution for all your BI needs. With its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, you can quickly access a wide array of native integrations with data sources to transform, clean, map, and share analytics across multiple platforms – without needing code knowledge.

In addition, they offer report embedding alongside an inbuilt dashboard commenting & highlighting feature to review insights conveniently. Furthermore, advanced users have direct access to their REST API, which constantly offers updates on everything from metadata management through information flows – making it easier than ever for organizations to make informed decisions based on reliable metrics.


With QlikView, teams can create a tailored software solution that meets their unique needs. Plus, its freemium version is available to upgrade to the full-featured Qlik Sense—featuring customizable reports with role and permission-based access systems, open APIs for database access on any platform, and shareable analytics capabilities.

Delve into the exciting world of Data Visualization confidently, knowing that many products offer demo access and trial periods to give you a feel for their tool before committing. Additionally, each product offers different scalability levels designed to fit businesses of various sizes – so take some time browsing options until you discover which one is just right.

Overall, Data Visualization is a critical aspect of Business Intelligence. The rise of advanced tools and technology has drastically altered how companies interact with and make insights from their data. 

Data Visualization in Business Intelligence can help organizations make more informed decisions through better insights into key performance indicators and trends. The use of Data Visualization Business Intelligence will undoubtedly improve over time as developers discover increasingly innovative ways to represent information visually.

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