data visualization

What is interactive data visualization and what are the benefits of using it?

Data is king. The more data you can gather and analyze, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions. And when it comes to analyzing data, there's no better way to do it than through interactive data visualization. But what is interactive data visualization? What are the benefits of using interactive data visualization over traditional methods? And what are some best practices for creating effective visualizations? Read on to find out.

What is interactive data visualization?

Interactive data visualization is a type of data visualization that allows users to interact with data in order to explore and understand it. This can be done through various means, such as allowing users to filter the data or providing interactive elements that allow users to drill down into specific parts of the data. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to more effectively communicate data and insights. 

An interactive data visualization showing a line graph of the total forecasted quantity and total forecasted sales. In the this line graph there is a drill down feature showing a search bar above product name, channel, region, product type, city, state, and store.

Benefits of interactive data visualization over traditional data visualization methods

There are many benefits of using interactive data visualizations over traditional static visualizations. These include:

  • Provide a more immersive experience that allows users to explore the data in greater depth

  • Reveal patterns and trends that may not be immediately apparent in static visualizations

  • Allow users to manipulate the data to reveal different insights

  • Be more engaging and visually appealing to users than static visualizations

Best practices for creating effective and engaging interactive data visualizations

When creating interactive visualizations, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Keep it simple

Too much information is overwhelming. Stick to the most important data points and allow users to explore further if they want more detail.

Make it pop

An interactive visualization that is well-designed and visually appealing will be more engaging for users.

Use intuitive controls

Users should be able to easily understand how to interact with the visualization. Keep controls simple and consistent with how users are accustomed to interacting with similar applications.

Provide clear guidance

It should be clear to users what they can do with the visualization and how to get the most out of it. Tooltips, legends, and other guidance can be helpful in providing this context.

3 Examples of well-done interactive data visualizations

There are many great examples of interactive data visualizations that illustrate these concepts. A few notable examples include:

  1. The New York Times' Coronavirus Tracking Map 

  2. The Washington Post's Election Night Results Map 

  3. The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

Start visualizing your data differently 

If you’re looking for a more effective way to communicate data and insights, interactive data visualization may be the answer. They allow users to explore data in more depth, revealing patterns and trends that might not be immediately apparent in traditional static visualizations. Best of all, interactive data visualizations are engaging and fun to use, which means your audience is more likely to pay attention and learn from them. 

Ready to experience what it's like to drill down into data instantly? Start a free trial of ThoughtSpot today.