Adventures in Visualand: Data visualization today (Episode 5)

Data visualization and the needle(s) in the haystack

Good examples of dashboards - as you may already think - have a clean design and already embedded flags such as trend lines, target comparisons or color alerts to deliver all the useful information for a decision to be made right on the spot. However the good ones do not always make it to the boardroom because the attention and memorability goals are not always met.

What business users are seeking is for dashboards to offer more than what is directly visible - more than trends and patterns. Finding and showing outliers, strange correlations or surprising developments of data are the key to the evolution of dashboards as a business tool. This is the realm of interactive dashboards.

What makes good better

It is not necessarily the creator of the dashboard who has to spot previously unseen opportunities but, due to real-time updating, interactivity and collaborative features, it can be any viewer who can decompose charts, drill through measures, zoom in or zoom out on timelines who can reveal the holy grail. It is an evolution from data discovery to discovery within the data, and it is the cloud that gives business intelligence the multiple superpowers to create visual dashboards that are not only reports used for a unique decision at a specific moment in time but as permanent decision-making tool.    

These kinds of dashboards are transforming the way business users think and collaborate: each interactive dashboard gathers around it a group of users similar to a science research group who, through the means of shared discoveries, can generate major breakthroughs in their own field.

Read all the episodes:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 6

Episode 7