Learning All You Can From Your Data

Helen Hunt, Negosentro | Collecting tons of data on customers, sales, and operations seems like a pointless exercise if you can’t learn from it. There are many tools out there that can provide complete transparency of your processes and marketing. This allows you to gain insights without the technical know-how and expensive applications we’ve come to associate with big data analytics.

It’s no longer necessary to have data scientists on the payroll. There are tools available that can provide accurate business measurements clearly and easily. Data visualization software has to be one of the most practical.

This is the technique of using infographics based on real-time data to provide a visual representation of any business metrics you need. Interactive elements such as graphs or gauges are easier to understand and interpret than text or tables. Today’s visualization software enables you to do far more than just report statistics.

Visualization of data has become a dependable reporting tool built into many analytic platforms. Some big data solutions focus primarily on development of dashboards that can provide a range of interactive components for tracking key performance indicators. Interactive graphics also allow drill down to more detailed information.

Visualization software makes big data accessible to employees across the enterprise, so that it actually empowers both in-house and offsite teams to learn more about the business processes that concern them.

Data visualization software leverages the fact that our brains can assimilate graphical or pictorial information intuitively. Humans are visually oriented, so that visual data elements are more easily understood and shared. For a variety of reasons, infographics work better than formal reports for communicating key data issues.

Less Is More

Visualization software has become the go-to approach because it can convey a great deal of information in a single graphic that’s taken in at a glance. It saves on time for multiple employees because it’s so much easier to understand. Large amounts of data that can cover several pages of tabular reporting can be presented with a single graph or chart.

More Engaging

Most data visualization software today is web-based, taking advantage of modern HTML5 code standards to provide the same kind of responsive but effective interaction you expect from a web page. This allows visualization tools to allow for drill down to underlying details, but also useful features like drag-and-drop, external links, uploading and downloading files, integration with third-party applications, range selections, and other capabilities that make data interaction far more flexible and interesting.

Actionable Results

This broader functionality also makes it possible to manipulate data to gain more accurate results. It’s easier to collaborate on and verify data by making it accessible through a centralized system. Having multiple team members engaged with the same data sets makes it easier to formulate different plans and reach a consensus decision. This makes it faster and easier for teams and individuals to perform data discovery that suggests a course of action.

New Perspectives

The interaction that data visualization software provides allows team members to arrive at their own views and conclusions that others can quickly and easily explore and test. Answering questions and providing unique insights in a collaborative environment builds a more comprehensive perspective on pressing issues. Employees with their own way of approaching problems may discover connections others would miss.

More Knowledge

The capability of processing more data more efficiently and reliably leads to better understanding of how your business operates. It creates more oversight for monitoring progress and recognizing and resolving any issues that develop. Data visualization software allows stakeholders to share knowledge on a daily basis without emails or meetings. Multiple managers or executives checking their dashboards can engage in discussion already armed with shared knowledge of essential information.

Information Islands

The problem with non-centralized data is that important insights can be overlooked. Departmental databases or personal spreadsheets can limit or eliminate crucial information. For instance, technical support issues that rely on a ticketing system may isolate critical information that can benefit sales or marketing. Help desk software is an important tool that best serves the company when integrated with the overall data system. In order for everyone to learn from the information available, other teams must be able to coordinate efforts by working from the same data sets.

Integrating and sharing information by the most efficient means possible is the best way to gain knowledge and understand what’s happening both within and outside the company. Using data visualizations as a starting point is an ideal way to save time and avoid miscommunications.