A dry list of numbers and a dynamic graphic are two very different things. It is this disparity that marks the importance of data visualization and dashboards better than any other example. Creating an easily comprehensible image that immediately conveys information on sight is a powerful differentiator for organizations, and they can use this capability to become more efficient and effective in their fields. Business intelligence processes are becoming more powerful all the time, and as visualization and dashboard tools become closer to standard, organizations without them may wonder why their competitors have become so efficient. Catching up may likewise prove to be difficult.
The power of visuals
According to TheServerSide.com, a summation of data visualization's power came from a recent LinkedIn Tech Talk by consultant Noah Iliinksy. The source reported that he tied the power of a good analytics graphic to the nature of the human brain. Automated pattern recognition within the mind can make a quick association between certain concepts and visual traits. Cramming more information into a limited amount of reading time is the great feat of visualizations. Compare that to reading a long list of written search results or numerical figures and the difference becomes clear. Approaches that use more of the brain are potentially powerful.
What makes a good data visualization? According to TheServerSide.com, these charts should be more sophisticated than the flat shapes users are familiar with. The source indicated that the information used by companies today is deep and complex, a feeling that should ideally be replicated in the colors, shapes and settings used to portray the results of analytics. Viewing meaningful content through a lens that is too simplistic will end up selling the underlying data detail and analytical rigors short. Visualization is a balancing act between images that convey meaning automatically and sophisticated results that yield deep insights.
Choose your software
With the inherent power of the visual data form in mind, Necto 14 uses a complex series of business infographics that convey exactly what users need to know at a given moment. These visualizations can be customized and therefore apply to many different user types with a huge variety of responsibilities. This is in keeping with the recent trend toward self-service BI, wherein users outside of the IT department become the keepers of their own analytics processes. Once, these employees would have put in requests and hoped to get the results back. Now, they don't have time. Business has become fast and visual.