Data visualisation and storytelling have been junction-making in Singapore’s accelerated digitalisation, land constraints, and COVID-19.
Data visualisation, a term that has been gaining considerable attention in recent years, is no longer a novel concept in the field of data analytics and business intelligence. It is a process that translates intricate data patterns into visual insights, thereby making complex data more understandable and accessible. As we delve into the world of data visualisation, it’s crucial to understand its basics and the pivotal role it plays in today’s data-rich environment.
Data visualisation has emerged as an indispensable tool for businesses across the globe. It aids in detecting patterns, trends, and correlations that might otherwise go unnoticed in traditional reports or spreadsheets. Furthermore, it enables organisations to comprehend, analyse and interpret data in a visually engaging manner to substantiate decision-making.
The sheer volume of data today does not guarantee immediate understanding. For the untrained eye, customers, or the general public, data visualisation must evolve into data storytelling to communicate real, actionable value.
Data visualisation in dashboards and other customer management platforms also enables synchronicity of understanding across different teams in the organisation. A centralised system with visuals raises awareness of how developments progress throughout the business and encourages employees of various teams to have greater visibility of others’ dashboards. New ways of working may even come about.
Having intuitive technology also shifts the burden away from IT professionals responsible for everything from data integrity to miscellaneous requests. In fact, the Centre for Creative Leadership reveals that 4 out of 5 workers blame “inadequate technology” for wasting time, leading to lower productivity for firms and longer hours for employees.
Singapore’s Use of Data Analytics & Visualisation
When COVID-19 hit Singapore, its data visualisation technology garnered acclaim for its effectivity. In just eight weeks, they developed a thorough track-and-trace solution using SAP and PCI that allowed users to observe the virus’ spread through an app.
A pocket-sized, portable gadget that records comprehensive, accurate, and encrypted contact histories helped inform the app’s visualisations. It assisted locals with educated caution on the virus’ transmission hotspots to protect themselves and those they cherish. Moreover, it equipped policymakers with the information they initially lacked to implement protective strategies for their citizens.
In light of the pandemic’s long-term implications on how we live and use our urban areas, anticipatory planning has also assumed a central role. Residents have been redistributed into neighbourhoods and congested roads have been cleared off. More people work from home. Thus, Singapore’s downtown and heartland areas have seen changes in patterns of work and non-work behaviour, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) observes through employing spatial data analytics.
The Ministry of Health uses the URA’s ePlanner to identify areas of need where Singapore’s ageing population is concentrated. They consequently work with health providers to target health programmes in the right areas.
With the overwhelming influx of information online, The Straits Times have been strategic in breaking up text with interactive graphs and stop-motion animations to create visually digestible journalism. This has led them to winning 51 awards this year in global competition with the best players in visual storytelling.
The future of data visualisation in Singapore looks promising. With the country’s focus on transforming into a Smart Nation, the importance of data visualisation is expected to increase in the coming years. As we move forward, the use of AI and machine learning in data visualisation will also become more prevalent.
Singapore aims to become a digital society where there is digital literacy for all, a digital economy with vibrant and inclusive digital infrastructures, and a digital government that provides seamless and secure transactions and services.
Nonetheless, these will all be for nothing if interpretability is not actualised in communicating insights to Singapore’s people. By combining data visualisation with storytelling, both the government and businesses can deliver powerful messages that drive change and confidence.
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