The Power of Visual Analytics

It is no secret that technology is rapidly changing the way organizations conduct business. In terms of Business Intelligence, Data Visualization has evolved into what experts claimed in a survey conducted by The Data Warehouse Institute, as “very effective” in terms of increasing business user insight and productivity. The graphical representations produced from data visualization software are allowing business users to develop a more comprehensive understanding of data and enabling them to use it to achieve tactical and strategic objectives.

In contrast to the widely used tabular report, patterns, trends, and outliers are being identified much more quickly with the communication of data through graphical representation. According to Judy Doherty, director of Information Management Systems at Dartmouth College, “The combination of data discovery and visualization enables users to uncover hidden relationships they didn’t know existed” (Eckerson). Moreover, its allowing users to identify actionable data that they previously had no recollection of.

Data visualization is still evidently in the early stages of industry adoption with more than two-thirds of users still analyzing data in tables and text. According to Niklas Derouche, CTO of BI and visualization vendor DSPanel, “There are still a lot of companies that don’t have visualization solutions in place, or if they do, it’s only for a small number of people. However, demand for visualization is growing with the big change being a move from static to interactive to collaborative business intelligence” (Eckerson). The growth is related to the influence that data visualization has on improving business production and user insights. 74% of respondents to The Data Warehouse Institute survey rated the influence of data visualization on business insights as “very high” (Eckerson).

As the adoption rate of organizational business intelligence tools increases, the underlying decision processes must be evaluated. Organizations should not only present the analysis of business data, but also utilize methods that aid decision-makers in organizing decision alternatives. These decision alternatives then need to be presented in a way that is easy to understand, allowing businesses to interpret what’s important and what to pay attention to.

INQIRI has developed a web-based collaborative decision-making application tool. NIQIRI has not only developed a technology to present decision alternatives in an easy to understand, quantifiable manner, but has also leveraged the phenomenon of “collective intelligence”. Collective intelligence emerges from the collaboration of many individuals. According to Thomas Malone, Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, “collective intelligence” can be defined as “the synergistic and cumulative channeling of the vast human and technical resources now available over the internet” (Malone).

Collective intelligence has the potential to produce very effective decisions and create outcomes that normally would either not be recognized, or fall subject to personal bias. When generating solutions, for example, we tend to seek information that confirms our assumptions and maintain those beliefs even in the face of contrary evidence (Bonabeau). Collective intelligence can help reduce the effects of those biases and can provide a diversity of viewpoints and input. Inqiri’s web-based collaborative decision-making application presents the analytics produced from the inputs of the collective in an aesthetically pleasing way. This will help increase organizational productivity by allowing decision-makers to analyze the data quickly.

Although data visualization is allowing business users to develop a more comprehensive understanding of data, one must not forget to consider the quality of the data. Poor data will produce poor results no matter how efficiently the data can be analyzed. The technology behind inqiri provides a means of utilizing “collective intelligence” to ensure superior data is produced and then presented in a number of different graphical representations to enable organizations to make effective decisions in a short amount of time.

Sources

Bonabeau, Eric. “Decisions 2.0: The Power of Collective Intelligence | MIT Sloan Management Review.” MIT Sloan Management Review RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2015.

http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/decisions-20-the-power-of-collective-intelligence/

Eckerson, Wayne, and Mark Hammond. “Visual Reporting And Analysis.” TDWI Best Practices Report (2011): n. pag. Web.

http://tdwi.org/research/2011/01/BPR-Q1-Visual-Reporting-and-Analysis

Malone, Thomas W., and Mark Klein. “Harnessing Collective Intelligence to Address Global Climate Change.” Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization 2.3 (2007): 15-26. Web. 7 Jan. 2015.

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.11/itgg.2007.2.3.15?journalCode=itgg- .VLfti4rF_Lc