Why do we need a graph? Me personally, have never needed a chart to check my sales data. I have used graphs to impress my seniors, who I am not sure if they get impressed with weak numbers presented in innovative graphs.
As the numbers get larger and inconsistent, a graphical display will help. I do not want to dilute your vision by giving an example, but the temptation is too high. – World population and comparison of per capita GDP and the number of people who are HIV positive on a 5.5-inch cell phone screen. Geo-mapping is the likely and the only way you see it at the moment. I agree that there is no other way. And I hope you can visualise some hypothetical data on a cell phone and sense how it will look with filters and options.
When I ask you the question, why are you looking at the graph? It is quite likely that your objectives are in three broad areas. One, compare how one country you are connected is doing in comparison with the others. Two, you want to see if the money you want to send or have sent is going into affected areas. Third, you are doing research. Research could be for selling product or service. Alternatively, there can be an educational objective.
Your eventual result or take away from the exercise is never graphical. In all possibility, it will be three lines which include text and data. Data may be in terms of adjectives or raw numbers.
Usually, if the takeaway is in more than three lines, there will be more analysis which is required.
I am limiting the discussion to a graphical analysis. A tabular report can be used to derive more analytics and drill down or drill through to make a detailed plan.
So what are we getting at? It is quite likely that you have a direct question you want to ask your data. Conventional funnel based click to filter model never permitted this direct question. So there was an unusual demand for graphics and not answers. Trends and not a prediction. Clusters and not absolute numbers.
Here is a question: Which is the best country to launch an HIV drug?
The question you may be asking, and which you will use the funnel based filtering is, which countries have the highest per capita income and high incidence of HIV positive people in absolute numbers.
On second thought, you add, closest to me to the above question.
Your answers will be three countries with some data in tabular form.
You could also see it on a full map on a desktop, but if you are using a smaller device, would you like to see the world map with three countries highlighted?
Similarly, if you are doing sales analysis which involves, geography, product groups, sales teams and marketing initiatives how many clicks and filters do you want on your cell phone? Or you would like to ask – Under which marketing campaign did sales peak and get one single line answer on your cell phone…
Smart Data Visualization has its power, and ElegantJ BI provides dazzling graphics.
For how long the graphical analytics will be necessary with a combination of predictive analytics with NLP and NLQ on the horizon is a question we are pondering.
We are headed for a Clickless Analytics world!