What is a heat map?
A heatmap gives one a two- dimensional visual representation of data using colors. Every color represents different values. One can use the heatmap in any data. We can use it starting with the real estate market that represents how many foreclosures to the spreads of CDS or credit default to the webpage analysis. This analysis is a reflection of how many hits the website gets.
In the 19th century, people used heatmaps in analyzing statistics. It became more and more beneficial not only to some fields and industries. It was helpful to most. For instance, it helped many people in the field of medicine, architecture, marketing, engineering, and research.
How do they help?
Back in 2008, there was a recession. During that time, many people saw how much heatmaps can help them. It was easy for them to have a visual representation of the foreclosure rate in different states. They were also able to make comparisons in the heatmaps from the different months. They saw when the foreclosures were increasing, decreasing, and constant. With just a single look, one can get a comprehensive and efficient overview of any topic.
Unlike other 2D representations like charts and tables, one does not need to interpret or study heatmaps to understand them. Hence, we said that it is easy and helpful for people because heatmaps are straightforward. They are direct data visualization. Not only are they easy to read, but they are also self-explanatory.
Why do consumers like heatmaps?
Consumers cannot deny that heatmaps are user-friendly. Even if the consumer is not too used to reading massive data amount, they can understand them. Unlike other data formats like charts and graphs, consumers can agree that these are more visually accessible.
Let us cite an example.
We mentioned that heatmaps could be applied to any data. Let us say that there is a heatmap that shows foreclosure data in country A. The parts with high foreclosure rates are in light colors, while the portions with low foreclosure rates are in dark colors. A real estate agent would agree that it is easier to understand the market and its trends.
Heatmaps always come with legend. When we say legend, it is like an enumeration of the color and what it represents. It helps specify and understand the data. Heatmaps are also widely used in webpages because it lets them know where users mostly click.
We thought you should know.
While many people commend heat maps, they also have their share of downsides. Heatmaps represent a massive amount of data. Hence, it might miss some important information that is needed for a more accurate trend assumption. It can only do so much. It can tell us that a scenario happened, but it does not explain why it happened. It does not include the factors why it happened. Also, it cannot tell us what might happen in the future. They are created before the release of a data topic. This way, viewers will have preliminary analytics for viewers, and that they have to be read with a warning in mind.