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There is lot of noise about Visualization of data in BI space these days. Simple charts, complex charts (few of them can not be digested by many business users :) ), tons of properties and configurations and much more....
Yes, a great work has been done in these area by most of the vendors in the BI marketplace today, and all decision makers are enthusiastic about this, and that enthusiasm is reflected in the growth of this BI visualization tools market.
So, one gets enthusiastic about it, becomes internal advocate for visualization in the organisation and the whole process of exploring visualization for business benefits starts.... But before you get to the next level, some pointers here.....
Starting Point is the Data Influx
Handling large amounts of data and multiple data sources for business analytics can be challenging. To defeat data overload and manage those mountains of data, you need smart aggregation and consolidation of relevant data encompassing appropriate contextual information over a relevant period.
So, getting the incoming data quality right, doing the right aggregations and computations to ensure a good performance and creating a meaningful business semantic layer of data is important here. Just providing data source access ( will you ? ) and drag and drop visualization tools will not work beyond a point. Of course, it will generate good initial vibe and enthusiasm, but that early enthusiasm will fade away if business user fail to extract those hidden nuggets of data by deep diving into your data.
Analytics Go Beyond Visual Charts
ElegantJ BI employs deep dive technology to allow the business users to drill into that mountain of data to find the most important piece of information. Find out why your top five stores are performing so much better than your other locations. Look at your product price points and make decisions with razor-sharp focus, so you can see where, how and why these price points are driving success or slowing sales in any location, at any time of year, by any sales person.
Your business users can not Deep Dive into your data with Packaged Static Dashboards developed by your developers.
Deep Dive technology allows the average user to develop and analyze dashboards, matrices and reports without the assistance of a programmer or analyst so the business user can be productive and make course changes quickly to avoid a misstep.
With these tools, your users can leverage powerful analytics tools and adhoc query tools to add new data, add new columns, reconfigure objects and it's layout, reconfigure visual properties, change data operations, change summary operations, design their own objects and do much more, which is impossible, if you provide Packaged Static Dashboards to your business users.
Ofcourse, no need to mention here that all these powerful Deep Dive Analytics features can be explored and used by business users, without need for any scripting or programming....
The Tangents: Empowering Business Users
If you are expecting your business users to take their own decisions, and perform, then you need to empower them. Providing them static packaged dashboards with just filter and drill down is not really an empowerment, is it ?
Deep Dive technology allows businesses to remain agile and dig out from under the mountain of data and find those few critical facts that will help them develop the next new product, or address customer needs before the customer knows what they want, and consistently stay ahead of the market and the competition.
So, empower your users with real Deep Dive Analytics, and don't let them down with packaged static dashboards. Because, Visual Analytics Monitors, & Deep Dive Discovers!
About the Author: Kartik Patel is the Founder and CEO of Elegant MicroWeb. Domain expertise is in Enterprise Software Applications, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Performance Management & Enterprise Governance via Technology.