For companies engaged in research and development (R&D) across different industries, from consumer packaged goods (CPG) to energy, data visualization offers terrific opportunities to identify new products that can be brought to market. It can also reveal advances that can make or break a product’s success.
Data visualization enables R&D engineers to visualize relationships and patterns between data sets. These capabilities are critical for CPG companies that are looking to create new products that differ from the competition.
For instance, a manufacturer of dishwashing detergent is testing a new product that’s designed to eliminate spots on glasses and dishes. Consumer research—including customer panels, analyses of social media, and survey sentiments—indicates that spotting is a frustration for many consumers.
Engineers for the manufacturer test a variety of detergents with different chemical combinations. Data visualization helps the researchers determine that certain chemical combinations must be avoided to prevent spotting for dishwashers that use hard water.
Further analysis by the company’s product marketing team, via data visualization tools, reveals that there’s a secondary revenue opportunity for the company: a detergent that eliminates spotting in both soft water and hard water settings.
Identify Risks and New Opportunities
Data visualization can also be applied to a host of other research and development applications. A manufacturer of solar panels is considering a new material for their panels. It has the potential to save them money and improve efficiency. They use data visualization tools to evaluate the material and discover that its production requires the use of a particular crystal—a crystal that happens to be in short supply among third-party manufacturers.
With this knowledge, the researchers can use the data to explore the possibility of producing the crystals in-house. If things look right, they can choose to produce the crystals themselves, well before commercial development gets underway.