Data visualization: Empowering when done correctly

Becoming a business intelligence leader, in the simplest possible terms, consists of setting up an application that suits the company's purposes and the needs of employees. The challenge comes from determining just what those requirements are and seeing through marketing hype to ensure that the chosen solution can really deliver on its many promises. This is an ongoing struggle for today's companies, torn as they are between old-fashioned processes that only gave limited views of structured data to certain employees and the future, which will introduce new information types, user profiles and application features. Fight through the confusion and the results could be thrilling.

The best way to visualize
Today's BI tools often go beyond the classic model of submitting analysis requests to be handled by experts in the IT department. Instead, self-service BI has become the order of the day, with graphic dashboards empowering average users. Consultant William McKnight recently gave some pointers to TechTarget to help organizations walk away with the best possible application for their unique purposes. He explained to the source that the best value comes from software that is not forbidding for business department employees to learn to use. The concepts behind BI are complex, but the best apps are available to any user who needs insights quickly.

As for the types of visualizations such users should generate, McKnight preached the importance of simplicity. He stated that it may be tempting to create extremely complex illustrations, but that this also bolsters the chances that something will go wrong. A misplaced data point could undermine the value of BI and set programs back significantly. For that reason, McKnight recommended working with less than the maximum number of inputs and ensuring that the content is legible and understandable. Just because users can commit heavily to complexity doesn't mean they should, at leas at first.

Modern BI tools
When prospecting for the best new BI tools to suit a company's needs, leaders should ensure every feature they may want is present. It would be a shame to have to try out a new solution a mere year or less after making a decision. Necto 14 contains the visual elements that today's organizations crave, delivering value through views that can be customized to suit employees in any role. From the marketing section to the CEO to the IT experts, all sorts of workers can unite around these dashboards. Getting the optimal BI experience is all about showing judgment and selecting carefully.

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