Data visualization, according to Wikipedia, is the study of the visual representation of data. A closely related term, Information visualization, is defined as: visualization is a process of transforming information into a visual form enabling the viewer to observe, browse, make sense, and understand the information.
In the context of Business Intelligence (BI), data visualization is applied in two ways. First, data visualization is a discipline that covers a complete theory of how to visually represent data. The concepts and systems can be applied in the design of visual interfaces for communicating information.
Secondly, data visualization concepts and guidelines are realized through features in BI software, which makes it easy to apply the concepts. This is similar to the concept of Object Oriented programming. Object Oriented Programming is a concept that could be implemented in any programming language, such as C. But to do it effectively and in large scale, it’s best to have a programming language that provides direct support for the concepts, in the form of classes and inheritance.