The big data market explosion has given a lot of impetus to data visualization tools market. Visualizations have not only helped manage analysis of humongous data sets but also rendered them visually appealing and easily decipherable, expanding the potential user base for big data. Considering this, it won’t be far from inaccurate to state that innovations in data visualization segment will play a pivotal role in shaping the future market growth of big data. In today’s post, I’ve tried to gauge some of the key trends we are likely to witness in the big data visualization stream in the next couple of years.
Data visualization on smartphone to take center stage
This might seem unthinkable to many, given that a smartphone has a relatively small screen and it is difficult to imagine huge data analysis on a smartphone being visually decipherable. But we thought the same about a lot of things that seemed difficult on a smartphone, and which are commonplace now. The truth is mobiles are gaining in memory and processing power, and for a world increasingly obsessed with consumer experience on mobile, we’re in for plenty of innovations in mobile data visualization. Roambi and Zoomdata are two such startups that are making some leaps in mobile data visualizations. Another mobile visualization startup, Mapsense ($30m), was acquired by Apple in September this year.
Browser-based, zero-footprint, shareable data visualization tools will witness increasing demand
Zero-footprint, browser-based cloud data visualization tools, with drag and drop quick visualization capabilities and easily shareable functionality will increase in demand from many segments of business customers. Imagine a medical scientist being able to create a data visualization and instantly sharing it with his team members located in the same office or elsewhere, engaging in real-time discussions and data edits with them. Larger players such as Tableau and Qlik have already expanded their focus towards browser based tools. And the segment is simultaneously witnessing entry of startups as well such as Platfora, Datahero and Mode. I expect this already crowded space to become even more crowded in the near term, which will lead to some degree of commoditization of product offerings.
Consumer expectations will migrate to visualization from simple data
EHR and other health data storage companies have already started using data visualization as quick insight tools. We are also seeing online real estate listings companies adding 3D data visualization in their search capabilities. Fitness and health trackers app are also building in-app visualization tools. So where are we heading then? In a bid to capture consumer experience with innovative designs and imaginations, we will witness more and more visualizations in our service provider dashboards – be it your travel itinerary, food ordering, hotel bookings, sports live scores, etc. Essentially, the lines between a dashboard and simple information interface will disappear. And gradually, the customer will expect nothing short of a visualization from each information product.
Virtual assistants for data analysis will become a reality
Virtual voice assistants from Apple and Google are known to process huge datasets as part of their algorithm. BeyondCore, a San Mateo based startup, is offering a related service. Apart from offering visualization tool, it also offers a virtual assistant (Animated Briefing) that gives the user a verbal walk-through of the analysis. This is an incremental step for data visualization tools and for its utility, we believe this becoming an integral element of data visualization tools in times to come. BeyondCore raised $9 million of funding last year in February.
Industry focused large network graphs visualization tools will be sought
This is going to be one of the most interesting application areas for data visualization. Ravel Law, for example, is a legal data visualization startup that helps lawyers with analytics to make sense of courts and cases data. Based out of San Francisco, it raised $8.1m Series A funding last year. Cytoscape, an open-source data graph project backed by a consortium of academic institutions, has witnessed good adoption rates among the medical science research community. Trea, another startup, does the same for the US patents database employing what it calls as the “unified knowledge graph”. In times to come, we’ll see more such initiatives expanding to other industries as well, targeted at only specific industry data visualization needs.