data visualisation

Get Ready for the Data Revolution
Get Ready for the Data Revolution 855 590 Anthony Peake

Real-time data transforms lives. It allows people to make decisions based on reality. And it allows organisations to be more effective and efficient in everything they do.

When it comes to some of the most vital services in society – social care, education, bin collections, looking after the vulnerable – we are still not realising the true potential of data. Although a new study carried out by Software Solved highlights this very fact, I do believe we are on the verge of a real-time data revolution across local government.

We surveyed 38 unitary, city, county and district councils across England and the findings are revealing. You can get your copy of the Local Government Data Revolution Report here https://www.softwaresolved.com/localgovdata

The survey, as covered by media including Local Gov News shows that 92% of councils say that it is important or very important to running improved, cost-effective, services, though just 19% admit that they are effective at using their data.

And in spite of disparate IT systems, departmental silos, lack of skills and tools being seen as barriers, 95% of local authorities have started or plan to invest in data visualisation in the next 12-18 months.

 

 

Change is happening, with 97% of local authorities recognising that improved data visualisation tools will be of value to their council, yet only 19% of councils feeling that they can easily access the data they hold today.

For many years the technology simply did not exist in a format that could readily be used by non-IT experts and internal barriers, such as departmental silos or the lack of skills and tools to make a real impact, were seen as too tough to tackle.

But data visualisation tools like Microsoft Power BI are now affordable, easy to use and incredibly powerful and you no longer need to be an expert in data and the outcome can be incredibly exciting – making real-time informed decisions becomes the new reality.

Working with the right partners there is now a way to harvest existing data, set up robust data warehousing and use simple data visualisation tools so that real-time data use becomes the norm rather than the exception.

The likes of Camden Council, Lancashire County Council, Leicestershire, Doncaster, South Hams and West Devon District Councils are shaping services, shifting resources, achieving savings to move towards a more democratic, informed, accurate and cost-effective way of running public services.

The New Age Of Business Intelligence And Data Visualisation
The New Age Of Business Intelligence And Data Visualisation 1024 512 Jon Hogg

Businesses have always amassed data, however the rate at which it is created has grown exponentially. Globally, we output 2.5 quintillion (that’s 18 zeros) bytes of data every day. Estimates suggest that 90 percent of the total data in the world was created in the last two years.

There are now myriad electronic devices, all connected to one another in an ever-expanding network of data generation. However, for all the data amassed, organisations are barely scratching the surface of what it is capable of doing and translating this into real commercial value.

In short, there is a vast amount of data at your fingertips, just waiting to be utilised.

Data Visualisation for Any Business

Until recently, business intelligence (BI) solutions were only available to global organisations with vast budgets at their disposal. One of the key barriers to entry was the ability to interpret these immense datasets that businesses were acquiring. As inter-connectivity has come to the fore, so too have BI solutions that answer the question of ‘what can I actually learn from this data?’

Tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI have bridged this gap, opening data visualisation up to more businesses than ever before. Businesses and organisations of all sizes and industries can now take advantage of the value in data visualisation and business intelligence. It has helped to democratise data, enabling powerful data analysis and decision making in a fast, accessible and easy-to-use platform.

Business Intelligence to Inform Decision Making

Power BI provides the tools to not only assimilate data from vast sources, but to interpret it as well. This is a crucial factor for executives, who can now immediately examine the data that is relevant to them and draw immediate conclusions. This leads to more informed and responsive decision making across a business, driven by actionable data insights.

Today, every business is a data-driven business. Utilising this data properly could create tremendous value for businesses. From greater market understanding, to more effective trend forecasting, the answers are now there for anyone to see. Powerful analysis can link the dots between data and performance, revealing new insight and opportunities.

Customisable Data Visualisation for Businesses

More importantly, platforms such as Power BI are customisable to the needs of a business. All businesses have different requirements and needs from their data, so a customisable and interactive platform is essential. It can help bridge and connect data silos from marketing, finance and sales, breaking complex data into clear insight across all departments and functions.

Even now, BI solutions and their applications are developing at a rapid rate. That’s why the BI market has exploded and is set to grow to a value of $22.8 billion by the end of this decade. It will become the cornerstone of high-level strategy and decision making, which was once impenetrable without vast budgets and specialised resource.

If you’re interested in business data solutions and would like to discuss your business requirements, talk to us today or call us on 0203 281 7342.

2018 – The Year of Data Visualisation (across every department)
2018 – The Year of Data Visualisation (across every department) 1024 432 Anthony Peake

Departments across companies of every size have been screaming out for better ways to visualise the data they have into real actionable insight. However, until today, the IT teams have struggled to help each line of business to deliver their own dashboards easily. Now with advanced, yet low-cost tools like Microsoft PowerBI it has never been easier to build interactive dashboards and finally deliver timely management information that is helping companies to deliver real-time insight for Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations and IT Management.

Making data more engaging, internally and externally.

At Software Solved, we are called upon by the smallest and the largest organisations to help them not only bring their data to life internally, but to also make this highly engaging data available via customer portals so their customers, resellers, partners and suppliers can build much closer and interactive relationships. It is based on this increasing demand, and the fact that these tools are becoming increasingly easy to use and cost are rapidly lowering that I predict that 2018 will be the year for Data Visualisation across every department.

In a recent survey that Software Solved undertook in the Insurance Industry, we found that 78 of insurance companies stated that sharing real-time data with customers and brokers was either Important or Very Important, and yet when asked how advanced these Insurers are today with delivering real-time data, only 22 felt they were Good or Very Good.

Increasingly, sharing real-time data internally across your Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations and IT, and externally with your customers, resellers and suppliers is becoming a huge competitive edge that I believe no business will be able to afford to ignore in 2018.

So, who should be looking into Data Visualisation in your company?

Head of Finance

Finance usually get good data from their accounts systems, but have lots of departments requesting data and PowerBI would be a great tool for them to make the departments have self-service (drawing on data from multiple systems / spreadsheets)

Head of Sales

No matter which CRM system you use, sales management very rarely have good dashboards showing leads, pipeline funnels, proposals sent, targets, performance and upsell/cross-sell opportunities. Therefore, PowerBI will be a great tool for you to overlay on Salesforce, Dynamics, Sugar or whatever the CRM or sales tools

Head of Marketing

Marketing would kill to be able to demonstrate the ROI from marketing campaigns and also to control sales and ensure all their wonderful leads are properly followed up and the results into pipeline can be tracked.

They also would kill to know which campaign, to which industry, hit with which target demographic, so that in future you can target your campaigns better and manage the marketing budget more effectively. Tools like Microsoft PowerBI are ideal for this.

Head of Operations

Tracking manufacturing, stock levels, spares and workshop activities involves so many different supply chain and operations systems. The ability to get visibility across all these processes and then to deliver increased operational efficiency and greater customer service, should make Data Visualisation a must for Operations team.

Head of IT

IT not only needs dashboards for themselves, to be able to track server up-times, system patches, security vulnerabilities and roster staff, but also are key influencers in delivering systems and dashboards for every other department. Therefore, Data Visualisation should become a key tool for IT teams in every industry.

Head of HR

Tracking employee sickness, holidays, training as well as issues and advancement is key to HR management and is an ideal opportunity for using Data Visualisation. Delivering dashboards of recruitment campaigns to each line manager as well as tracking the effectiveness of university undergrad recruitment programmes and apprenticeships will deliver increased efficiency and effectiveness to the HR function and can be delivered quickly and inexpensively with tools like Microsoft PowerBI.

If you’d like to know more about Data Visualisation, and PowerBI in particular, you can find out more by  talking to us today.

Five Major Benefits of Data Visualisation for Charities and Non-Profits
Five Major Benefits of Data Visualisation for Charities and Non-Profits 1000 667 Jon Hogg

Huge amounts of data are being generated every minute of every day. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. When you factor in the global proliferation of internet connected devices, this isn’t surprising. But, how do you extract the value from this data?

Data isn’t worth a great deal unless it can be interrogated, analysed and used for decision-making. And it’s worth even less if people don’t understand it.

Data visualisation, the presentation of information in a graphical or pictorial way, is a great method of making data easy to view and understand. Tools like Microsoft’s Power BI mean this is no longer an incredibly complex task – its quick and easy to set up, and start getting insights from your data.

The five major benefits for charities and non-profits are:

1) Increased transparency with stakeholders

Charities and non-profits must be transparent with donors, supporters, service recipients, and members of the public about how much they are spending on what and why. Presenting this information in a graphical way helps people understand the data quickly and easily.

2) Removing the complexity

People can digest images and graphs more easily than reading through rows and rows of numbers. If you are dealing with large and complex datasets, visualising this data makes it much easier for other people to understand, particularly if they are not subject matter experts.

3) Deeper insight

Data visualisation makes large and complex datasets easy to read. This means that you can identify trends, anomalies, and insights with ease. Comprehensive data visualization tools will enable you to drill down deeper into specific data segments as well. This allows you to glean more insight from your data and identify areas that need further interrogation.

4) Improved internal communication

No matter how hard you try to avoid silos, they often exist within organisations, especially those with several large departments. Sharing insights and information in a graphical way can be a great way of informing other departments what’s happening in the organisation. These can be presented as dashboards on intranets or internal applications, enabling self-service, and saving you even more time.

5) Improved organisational performance

When you are actively using insights from your data, you will be making better strategic decisions, thus improving the perception and performance of your organization, both with potential donators and volunteers, and your current team.

As a non-profit, you’re highly likely to be collecting your own data, whether it’s as simple as user behaviour on your website using Google Analytics, or more detailed information on how stakeholders are interacting with your applications or services. Are you confident that everyone within the organisation can understand the information? Is it being used to inform decision-making to improve the effectiveness of your organisation? If the answer to these questions is no, then talk to us today to see how data visualization could benefit you.

If you’re interested in a great visualisation on just how much data is generated every minute, then take a look at this infographic