What good is data if no one can understand it? Business intelligence suites were created to answer that very question, turning huge amounts of corporate data into useful material for decision-making. However, in some cases, processes may not go far enough. Answering business questions with a string of incomprehensible figures won’t solve anyone’s problems. Organizations need to find a way to not only process a huge range of information sources but also present the results in a coherent and sensible way. Data visualization techniques, employed by some of today’s leading BI suites, may be the answer to this quandary, representing an evolution of the analytics concept.
The case for visualization
ARC Advisory Group recently explained that difficulty of use is keeping some businesses away from using BI. This is a huge problem, as the technology can provide expert guidance and seems on pace to become an industry standard. The source went on to note that there is little time to get users up to speed on solutions that aren’t immediately resonant. If the technology fails to catch on at many levels, it may end up having a minimal impact on company culture. ARC explained that this is where interactive graphics come in, resonant to look at and updated often.
The perception of analytics without a visual element may be poor. According to ARC, managers may not prioritize learning to read a stream of raw insights from BI processes that are not user-friendly. This makes sense in a way, as there are many things for these leaders to take care of today. Still, if there’s one source of information that should be heeded, it’s the output from BI. Graphical interfaces and vibrant visuals can take several forms, and companies should choose the one that’s right for them. While ARC suggested a few that were limited in either functionality or industry, other solutions are more universal.
Getting the right visual features
One major benefit of visualization is the potential to expand BI use well beyond power users and place the software in everyone’s hands. Solutions such as Panorama Necto 14 leverage these techniques to this end. The software can deliver a number of different selections of data in a visual format, either tailoring the graphs to the specialized needs of business department staff members or the more trained eyes of the longtime analysts. There are also ways to ensure that many employees see a current infographic, allowing leaders to spread their findings to every department that can benefit from them.