By Nicolette van den Berg | Follow Karabina on Twitter @Karabina
Data visualisation has long lagged its sister disciplines of data capture, storage and analysis. However, at Karabina, data discovery is something we’ve been doing for close on 12 years. Business data discovery is the promise of Business Intelligence, and Business Intelligence is a key ingredient in the strategic decision making process.
The main benefits of data discovery and visualisation are that it significantly improves the decision making process. It allows for greater insight and analysis, as more information is presented in a visual and concise manner and it contains more insight than a standard report. Visualisation can further help the planners in the organisation to analyse their information, as they have to trawl through vast amounts of data. Moreover, it has the potential to confirm and validate assumptions about the business, answering the essential business questions such as who are the customers, what are they buying and what are my margins? Data visualisation creates a single shared view of the situation and aligns the stakeholders on the required actions.
An emerging trend over the last couple of years is that organisations are moving away from data reporting toward data discovery. While most of the data is available in reports, it’s the analysis of that data that is essential, as the goal is to gain intelligence from your information, and not just an overview. Presenting data in tables is no longer the way to go, but graphing, mapping or charting information can instantly change perspectives and improve business insight.
With the emergence of Web 2.0 and other technologies such as the tablet, there has been a definite shift in how we engage with our data – we are much more visual. While a report could contain a lot of information, it’s preferable to present the data on a single page with a graphic that is information dense, but not confusing. As Napoleon said, “A good sketch is better than a long speech”.
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