How data visualization solves your big data ROI problem

Connected data is everywhere, and it’s growing at an exponential rate. It’s predicted that by 2025, there’ll be 175 zettabytes of data in the global datasphere.

We’ve found that, for many organizations, ‘big data’ means collecting every bit of information available – call records, financial transactions, email traffic, etc. – then figuring out how to use it.

It’s a costly challenge: once you’ve invested heavily in gathering the data, how do you uncover the value hidden inside it?

The first step is to get the data into a format that anyone can explore and understand. That’s where interactive data visualization comes in.

It’s the most effective way to bring your data to life, revealing patterns and connections that’d be difficult to find in millions of rows of raw data. The value comes from making the data accessible to users, turning something unusable into a powerful source of insight.

The big data explosion: data visualization brings connected data to life
The big data explosion: data visualization brings connected data to life

Why visualize data?

Exploring data visually instantly makes sense, even to people who’ve never worked with complex connected data before. That’s because our brains are great at spotting patterns, but only when they’re presented in a tangible format.

Seeing this visualization for the first time - built using our KeyLines toolkit - you immediately spot connections between key people in the network even if you don’t understand the context yet
Seeing this visualization for the first time – built using our KeyLines toolkit – you immediately spot connections between key people in the network even if you don’t understand the context yet

Most adults can only store between 4 and 7 items in their short term memory, so we’re definitely not big data creatures. It’s not enough just to present a huge dataset in a visual way; data visualization applications must also provide the tools to simplify complexity, filter out noise, and drill down on the right details.

By interacting with the data, changing the way it’s laid out, running sophisticated algorithms at the touch of a button, plotting the data onto maps, users gain much deeper knowledge and understanding.

What do we mean by data visualization?

Our focus is on connected data visualization, primarily:

  • Graph visualization – sometimes called link analysis or network visualization – is the process of visually presenting networks of connected entities as nodes and links. It goes beyond the ‘flat’ data model by creating a fully-interactive view. JavaScript and React developers use our KeyLines and ReGraph toolkits to create powerful graph visualization applications.
  • Timeline visualization focuses on presenting the order in which events occurred to uncover important patterns and connections. Sometimes it’s the sequence of events through time that’s the most important element in the data. You need a visual way to reveal the hidden stories. KronoGraph, our timeline visualization toolkit, is for building web-based timeline applications.

Combine both graph and timeline visualization, and you get a powerful 360-degree view of your dataset.

Data visualization at its best: a network chart to explore connections and timelines to examine how and when events unfold
Data visualization at its best: a network chart to explore connections and timelines to examine how and when events unfold

For objective, expert reviews of our SDKs, download these Bloor InBrief reports

KeyLines & ReGraph report


KronoGraph report

Who needs to visualize their data?

This style of data visualization isn’t new – law enforcement and government agencies have used visual link and timeline analysis for decades to help ‘join the dots’ in their investigations. But the visualization tools they used were inflexible, complex and available to only a select few expert analysts.

What has changed in recent years is the availability of technology like ours that makes understanding connected data a simpler, scalable process.

For many years, our technology has helped drive the success of organizations working in fraud detection, security and intelligence, and cyber security. We’re now working with many other industries worldwide that recognize the untapped possibilities in the connected data they’re collecting.

Broader domains including compliance, healthcare, business intelligence, supply chain management and IT infrastructure all benefit from exploring data and uncovering important insight. See our use cases

Visualizing European energy infrastructure in its real-world context is essential for managing and monitoring supply chain
Visualizing European energy infrastructure in its real-world context is essential for managing and monitoring supply chain

The powerful graph data stack

According to a 2021 Gartner report, the graph technology market has huge growth potential as it “forms the foundation of modern data and analytics”.

Once you’ve invested in your graph data stack, you need to find the best way to access the data and the insight it holds. You need data visualization tools that’ll integrate quickly and easily with any data source. That’s exactly what our technology does.

The most popular integration option is the graph database. Graph data is perfect for visualizing because the relationships in the data are as important as the data itself. And all the things we need to be able to visualize the data – connections, entities and properties – are built-in already.

The graph technology market is driven by scalable and robust graph databases like Neo4j, Amazon Neptune and Microsoft Azure CosmosDB. Through seamless integration with whichever graph database you choose, getting started with graph visualization has never been easier.

Integrating with a Neo4j graph database of Twitter data creates an effective graph and timeline visualization for spotting patterns fast
Integrating with a Neo4j graph database of Twitter data creates an effective graph and timeline visualization for spotting patterns fast

Investing in your data

The future looks bright for data visualization as more and more organizations recognize the need to get the right return on investment in data collection, storage and management.

With graph and timeline visualization, the focus is always on the most valuable element: the data itself. By making that data accessible and providing easy-to-use analytical capabilities, users uncover hidden insight fast.

To talk to one of our experts about your connected data visualization project, get in touch or request a free trial.

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