The phrase “data is the new oil” can be heard in many situations today. This expression aims to highlight the importance of the data and the economic potential that they bring.
However, we cannot take advantage of all the wealth they contain if we do not know how to capture them in a way that allows us to draw conclusions in a simple and quick way. For this, there is no better way to do it than by representing them visually.
These representations, whether through maps, dashboards, statistical graphs, tables or any other visual medium, are applicable to a wide variety of environments and situations. Throughout this article, we will talk about some of the most relevant.
DISPLAY OF DATA IN INTELLIGENT CITIES
One of the fields in which more boom has acquired the visual representation of data for analysis is that of the smart cities. Using control panels, the urban environment can be managed more efficiently, basing decisions on reliable and up-to-date information.
This data can be collected in several ways, from sensors strategically located throughout the city’s geography, to information generated by citizens’ mobile phones, cameras, and the consumption of their credit cards, mobile applications or data open portals.
Through this information, we can draw conclusions in a wide range of facets that shape the government of a city. For example, we can record noise levels in certain areas, with the importance of this to improve the quality of life and health of neighbors.
Another urban variable of great interest is mobility in general, of either people or road traffic. It is usual to record traffic density and speed in different roads depending on the day and time.
With these evaluations, measures can be taken to more satisfactorily organize the movement of vehicles, both in a prolonged manner and objectively (due to works, accidents, etc.), thus trying to minimize the problems arising from traffic congestion.
The management of the garbage system is also a fundamental part for any local government. By means of the data reflected thanks to sensors located in the containers, one can observe the filling level of each of them, thus saving unnecessary trips to almost empty containers, with the cost that they suppose for the public reserves.
As for water supply in cities, this can be optimized by applying smart solutions that allow better control over variables such as consumption, flow or pressure. In this way, we can help establish citizen awareness measures for responsible use and locate the main leaks of the system, which is one of the main problems facing water companies.
MONITORING OF NATURAL SPACES
Data visualization technologies are not only applicable to urbanized environments, but also add value to the study of natural sites with environmental applications.
Sample of these applications is the solution for the Alborán Project, with which you can view geographic data referring to natural resources, biodiversity and the impact of human activities, such as fishing, in the Alboran Sea area.
The representation of information is also very practical for climate and meteorological analysis. The recording of temperatures, precipitations, air currents and other factors allows us to study the changes experienced by the climate over the years, being able to extract conclusions of interest when crossing this information with others linked to the human factor.
Wildlife observation can also benefit from these technological solutions. As an example of this, we can talk about the MedMIS system, which records the different invasive marine species of the Mediterranean Sea. This platform allows citizens and scientists to record sightings, so that the records collected serve to study the behavior and evolution of these species.
VISUALIZATION OF DATA FOR COMPANIES
The dashboards have made business decisions based on data a very powerful methodology for the growth of them.
Managers and positions with decision-making responsibilities can browse the indicators that best reflect the current state of the business and show trends. With this, their capacity to react is multiplied considerably, as well as that of anticipation of possible future scenarios.
The collection of useful information for the generation of these dashboards comes from various sources. Faced with the data traditionally used, new ways have emerged to expand the knowledge of the real business situation.
The information generated daily and at all times by devices such as mobile phones has enormous potential if we direct it on business management. We refer to data on internet consumption, places of visit, time slots, use of applications, etc.
Being aware of the importance of these data, Geographica developed the Vodafone Analytics solution. With it, you can take advantage of all this information to decide, for example, where you are most likely to locate an establishment, create offers based on audience segmentation or behavior.
However, we cannot only extract value from mobile phones; there are more ways to do this, such as the study of the economic cost of the population obtained from the figures of credit card transactions.
Here we can highlight the Mastercard Retail Location Insights (MRLI) tool, which we implemented for this purpose. An application that works with billions of data arising from the use of cards throughout the planet.
Data visualization is not only applicable to large areas, but it is also very useful for monitoring interior spaces. Facet that has a lot to say in places like stores or industrial plants.
In stores, it allows optimization of spaces based on the study of customer traffic, designing routes and exhibitors so that everything is oriented to an increase in profits. Additionally, it allows improving the performance of the human team, knowing in which areas of the store its location is more beneficial.
Leisure and entertainment companies also enjoy the benefits of visual data analysis. A very clear sample of this and that we can observe that frequently we have during the celebration of sporting events. Most competitions generate hundreds or thousands of data, data that can be studied in real time and that serve to better understand what happens during the game or historical trends of results.
The data are the basis for undertaking the path to excellence. Currently we can get such an amount that many times it is a handicap to get them grouped, filtered and made comprehensible to the human mind.
This is where the visualization of data and the technologies that make it come into, so that the information can be analyzed in a direct and practical way for those people who have the necessary preparation and experience to do so.