Written on 18th May 2017 - 2 minutes

Data Visualisation: Using Business Intelligence Software to get the full view

We’ve all seen how popular infographics have become to convey data; newspapers and magazines are full of them, bar charts or geographic maps complete with beautiful imagery and colours to help us understand the most complex to the banal. This is a form of data visualisation. The presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format, enabling users to grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. In other words, it turns raw data into stories with few words. Data visualisation is important to the business world too because of the way the human brain processes information. Using charts or graphs to see large amounts of complex data is easier than poring over spreadsheets or reports. Data visualisation is a quick, easy way to convey concepts in a universal manner through interactive dashboards.

Interactive dashboards in data visualisation tools

Patterns, trends and correlations that might go undetected in text-based data can be exposed and recognised easier with data visualisation software. Today’s data visualisation tools go beyond the standard charts and graphs used in Excel spreadsheets; displaying data in more sophisticated ways such as dashboards, dials and gauges, geographic maps, sparklines, heat maps, and detailed bar, pie and fever charts. Taking the concept further, the dashboards include interactive capabilities, enabling users to manipulate them or drill into the data for querying and analysis, quickly changing what data is presented and how it’s processed. Indicators can also be included, which are designed to alert users when data has been updated or predefined conditions occur.

The benefits of data visualisation

Whether you need to predict sales volumes, understand which factors influence customer behaviour or identify areas of the business that need attention – data visualisation will assist. The key benefits are:
  • Understand information quickly; its much faster to analyse information in graphical format
  • Competitive advantage; discovering trends within the business and the market will help give you the edge on the competition
  • Improve strategy and forecasting; because data can be combined from a variety of sources that previously existed in silos, you can identify new relationships of strategic importance
  • Communicate the story to others; once your dashboards are set up, you can easily share them or embed them within your applications
  • Any time, any device; Since data visualisation tools like Power BI are cloud based, you will always have the latest information at your fingertips

Unlock insights and actions

The important thing to remember, is that the data is just the working tool – the main object of data visualistion is to enable users to form an understanding quickly so that they can move on and take action that will benefit the company, and ultimately the bottom line, based on those insights. If you’d like to find out more about our data visualisation software options and how your company will benefit from using Power BI explore our Business Intelligence Services. Alternatively get in touch for a free consultation.

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