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.
While business intelligence is seeing continued growth, the rate of expansion has slowed due largely to the way companies approach big data. The latest Gartner report indicated that business intelligence experienced an average 8 percent growth in 2013 across the globe, but no one saw improvements higher than 12 percent. According to Data Center Dynamics, the limited amount companies and their employees know about big data is a major reason behind the slowed growth of BI.
Lack of know-how
Big data, which encompasses massive swaths of information, can seem intimidating for those unprepared to harness the potential of data analytics. The news provider suggested that part of the reason big data remains such a mystery to some is that they don’t know how to best put it to use for their businesses. This encompasses everything from knowing which data to examine when looking at a specific operation or strategy to analyzing and interpreting sets of information and how they relate to one another.
However, firms can invest in a BI solution like Panorama’s Necto 14 that makes it easier to collect and interpret relevant data. This software can suggest which sets of information may be useful for a particular inquiry, giving users the ability to gain valuable insights regarding various departments and processes.
Too much importance
At the same time as businesses are having trouble harnessing big data correctly, many are also placing far too much emphasis on this large pool of information. The focus tends to fall more on the collection and storage of big data and less on data discovery and analysis, according to Venture Beat. Having all of this information is only useful when it is then analyzed and put to use to improve a business. In many instances, this can be due to the lack of know-how when it comes to using the data effectively. The self-service BI tools available in Necto 14 allow any member of an organization to extract and interpret big data so it can serve to help departments make strategic changes to various policies and operations.
These issues will likely diminish as more companies embrace modern and intuitive business intelligence tools that can help them better harness big data. Inquirer.net reported that new applications and software that focus on making big data more accessible will put the power of data analysis in the hands of more workers.
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