The new ways of presenting data are both intriguing and disorienting. After a lifetime of creating and reading bar charts and x/y axes, understanding how to interpret data presented as cloud tags and 3D representations requires a bit of practice.
BusinessWeek has a good article on how data visualization helps managers better understand consumer behavior and improve the relevancy of their marketing activities. And here, from Web Designer Depot, are dozens and dozens of eyecatching examples of data visualization options.
Ad Age had a neat post about using data visualization to build brands online. The NYT Visualization Lab lets users create visualizations about the day's news. I found this an interesting way to see the tools in action and appreciate the powerful insights that come from getting a fresh look at data.
One last thought: Marketers can't stand still--we have to actually take action, even if this means pilot programs and small steps at first, to avoid falling into the trap of analysis paralysis.