Advanced Visualization Tools Now Available For Business Intelligence

Business can get complicated fast, especially when you’re in a crunch over a project deadline and are running a lot of data, poring over reams of statistics and trying to make sense of analytics. Fortunately, however, new data visualization tools can increase our ability to comprehend analytics and grasp the information we need to know.

Suddenly, big data sets are easy to understand. There is no need for lengthy explanations because a single picture communicates a thousand words and makes it easy to get a qualitative grasp of the number of factors involved in a project or the size and volume of it.

Today, a new generation of Business Intelligence software, often simply referred to as BI, can present analytics in an easy-to-understand format like geospatial heat maps, word clouds, or bubble charts.

How to Get Started
It’s often necessary to hire the services of internal data scientists or get outside consultants for help when first starting out because of the complexity of the software. Although BI software now provides advanced visualization tools, special training is required to create reports and interpret them accurately. However, hiring outside expertise will not always be necessary. At a certain point, a company will either have trained IT staff to manage the software or will have invested in training key team members on the best ways to create visualizations and develop their own reports.

Proper use of the enterprise architecture of BI requires a company to place an emphasis on ongoing technical training and the flexibility to consider organizational restructuring. In addition, a forward thinking company should get more efficient at workload management and keeping up with technological advances, including having a keen interest in structuring big data.

Industries Using BI Today
Advanced data visualization tools and applications present data in ways that expand how executives and key employees can get measurable benefits. BI visualization tools make sense of a wide assortment of unstructured data. By simplifying information though chunking it into meaningful categories and through the use of catchy graphics, data suddenly becomes far more comprehensible to business users.

Here are some examples of industries that are using BI software with advanced visualization tools:
·In the healthcare industry, data visualization and advanced reporting features are being used to improve quality care and deliver better health care solutions at a lower cost.

·In the nonprofit sector, data visualization and advanced reporting features are being used to track donations to local causes.
·In governments and corporations, data visualization and advanced reporting features are being used to get a handle on big data and find new ways to organize data governance.
·In retail businesses, data visualization and advanced reporting features are being used to get location intelligence on the best places for their business operations to attract the most customers for their products.

Some Best Practices for Effective Data Visualization Programs
As in any business process, there are efficient ways and inefficient ways of using BI with advanced visualization features. Here are some tips for managing highly effective data visualization programs:

1. Focus on business benefits rather than getting enamored by flashy graphics. Don’t let creative imagination get in the way of providing effective data analysis. Focus on providing value through clear visualizations rather than coming up with gorgeous presentations that look good on the CEO’s Dell Latitude.

2. Keep up to date on the practices because these will change as the technology evolves. Old ways of doing things will be improved through the development of new features.

3. Avoid making BI dashboards too complicated. It’s easy to get carried away with the number of graphics available to put on a BI dashboard. While these might make sense to experienced users, it can appear too flashy for those not intimately familiar with interpreting analytics. Keep it simple to stay aligned with your data visualization purpose.

4. Incorporate visualizations into webinars and video conferencing. Data visualization can be used to help educate partners or clients interested in learning about how a business works. They can make complicated business processes much easier to understand to outsiders.

The Human Brain Prefers Pictures
While computers have made it easier to capture information and present it in logical tables, we humans need to get a mental picture of something to understand it quickly. Our brains are designed to format pictures rather than numbers or words. And when we come across numbers and words, we try to change them into pictures. Consequently, if we are inundated with too many abstractions, like a table of numeric information that shows comparisons and contrasts we feel bewildered. This is why advanced visualization tools can make a huge difference in helping us translate things that computers understand well into things that we can understand well.

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