The Power of Network Visualization
To truly understand why Network Visualization is not just a nice-to-have but a need-to-have, we’ve got to take a look at why visualization is so incredibly effective for comprehension, action, and memory.
The brain, by design, favors the vision of the 5 senses. According to the University of Rochester, 50% of the brain’s real estate is dedicated to visual processing and memory. The University of Rochester found that over half of the cortex, from the occipital lobe to the parietal lobe to the temporal lobe, is used in processing visual stimuli.
This is because of all the data and information the brain ingests; about 90% of that has to do with visualization.
It takes us just 400 – 500 milliseconds, just about a one-half second, to respond to a picture or image. Compared to the speed at which the brain can process text, this is 60,000 times faster.
Easier to Identify Patterns
Our brains are eager to see patterns in images – we are so good at this that sometimes we see Jesus’s face in a piece of toast. Seeing unrelated patterns is called pareidolia –but it just shows how great our mind is at connecting dots visually.
If there are any patterns to be found visually – we got them.
Imagine finding patterns in images vs. finding patterns in words – you can solve the below what is different in these pictures much faster than a word cross puzzle – go ahead! Time yourself.
Here’s a feature from the children’s magazine Highlights called Check… and Double Check. See how fast you can find the 14 differences in the image.
Now, take that time and check out what you clock for, finding 14 words within a word search I made about zoo animals on education.com.
If you’re anything like me, you solve the visual puzzle first. A study by Tableau found the same to be true.
Organizations using data visualization are 28% more likely to make quick discoveries of information than those that use text reporting.
Visual Displays Leads to Better Memory Recall
Visual recall is stronger than written or spoken text. The psychology dictionary for professional references calls this the picture superiority effect. This is defined as “ the propensity for an image or drawing to be recalled better than the terminology of the pictured item.”
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and this visual information is processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text. In other words, when we look at pictures and videos, we comprehend them more quickly than text.
When working with an organization’s data, quickly recalling prior experiences allows engineers to build from learned experience, tweak their approaches, and lean into the CI/CD model of continuous integration and delivery.
Visualization is the Future
A recent study by The Technical University of Denmark used social media markers to determine a globally narrowing attention span,
If you’re familiar with social media shorthand from Reddit, Discord, or Twitter, you’ve probably seen TLDR in the comments of posts. This acronym stands for Too Long Didn’t Read -and is pretty representative of our society. Humans have been experiencing diminishing attention spans for reading.
Additionally, our increasingly globalized and digital world makes language barriers a real consideration. Before the pandemic, it was more common for an organization’s workforce and clients to be locked into geographic regions or zipcodes. Data visualization supports digital-first organizations, making data accessible, understandable, and quickly actionable. Images are universal and allow for cleaner information distribution.
Ikea is an example of a company that has been at the forefront of this realization, deciding to provide images for furniture instructions instead of localizing their instructions into several different languages.
Why This Matters To Your NPM / APM Strategy
When considering data presentation, a visual user interface or graphical user interface (GUI) is the most effective way to monitor an organization’s network and application performance.
Visual representations of data reveal trends and patterns more efficiently than data lines in a table or a column in a report. NetOps or SecOps teams can easily pick up on anomalies in specific time frames or Geographic locations with data displayed visually.
LiveAction specifically designed its data visualization platform to accelerate detection and troubleshooting by following a mental model of how engineers think. Network events are identified, diagnosed, and remediated within a few clicks.
While acronyms and phrases seem to flood the tech space – Network Visibility is much more than a Gartner phrase. It is a powerful feature, backed by neuroscience, and indisputably beneficial to an organization’s network operations and planning.