Visualizations are usually used as a layer on the top of data, designed to make the data more digestible.
In big data analytics, reporting the insights we’ve gleaned from analyzing large amounts of messy data sets is the crucial “last step” of the process – and it’s often a step which causes us to stumble. We may have crunched terabytes of data in real time to come up with our world changing revelations. But unless we can communicate them convincingly to those who need to take action, they are useless, and worse than that, a waste of valuable time and money.
This is why data analysts have come to rely increasingly on graphics and visualizations combined with text – such as the now ubiquitous “Infographics” – to get a message across. But infographics rarely tell the whole story, and are still generally issued alongside written reports or summaries, particularly if they have a corporate purpose and detail is required. Again, this takes time and effort.
Programs that can visualize data start with the graphing functions available in Excel and get progressively more complex. But one program, called Quill, takes the trend a step further, producing text-based reports that explain the data clearly and concisely.  Think of it as an executive summary created by a computer to explain a set of data.  At the click of a button.
Combined, these types of technologies mean that the human interface — the data scientist — may soon be as mythical as that unicorn, and simply unneeded in the big data landscape where lay persons can conduct their own analytics at will.