At iVEDiX, we pride ourselves on being vendor agnostic. But when the companies we partner with start producing some pretty creative functionality for their software, we just have to share!
Below is a recent post by arcplan Marketing Project Manager Monique Morgan. It outlines the innovative ways our partner is improving their enterprise software with unique data visualizations. To see enlarged images and original content visit their biBlog.
There’s a lot of discussion happening in the BI world right now over data visualization. On the one hand, you have analysts pushing the idea that data visualization = visual data discovery = self-service BI = advanced BI. I’ve seen Gartner and Aberdeen both touting the idea that data visualization and data discovery are the same and that they’re the key to unlocking analytics for more users in your enterprise.
On the other hand, you have organizations who think data visualization = dashboards. They want to present their data graphically, have some interactive capabilities like drill-down and drill across, and use advanced features like animated graphs and motion charts.
At arcplan, we offer our customers all types of data visualization, from sophisticated desktop and mobile dashboards to visual ad-hoc reporting. Today let’s examine some of the dynamic, interactive visualizations you can employ in your BI dashboards to enhance data visibility and tell stories that are more expressive than static charts.
Motion Charts for Trend Analysis
A motion chart is a dynamic chart that shows the flow of data across a dimension – for example, time. It’s a great way to look at large amounts of data at once to discover patterns.
For example, a sales manager may want to conduct a trend analysis for the company’s product line over the course of a year to analyze profits and losses for a set of product categories. A motion chart provides a more dynamic option than a table of numbers. By simply sliding the time bar along the x-axis, the sales manager obtains a visual of the fluctuations in the product categories over time. It’s the difference between reading a book and watching a movie on the same topic: though the information is the same, a visual aid allows some users to better absorb it.
It is dynamic because it combines multiple views of data into one chart and provides the flexibility to switch between high- and low-level views on the same canvas. With many other charts that offer drill-down capabilities, the user is directed to another area entirely to see further information. For example, the drill-down for a bar chart may be a table. But when the data set permits, a zoom line chart allows users to dynamically switch between a high-level overview and a more detailed view to quickly analyze information.
Note: This chart is a type of Fusion chart, which can easily be deployed in arcplan applications.
Flowcharts for What-If Analysis
The ability to perform what-if or scenario analysis is a must for decision-makers who need to understand how projected performance is affected by changing assumptions. Excel provides what-if analysis calculations, but when a large number of inputs are involved and the analysis needs to be shared among many users, it gets complicated.
Why not use a flowchart visualization for what-if analysis? Filters and number inputs allow users to change parameters and request custom calculations. Users can then see various scenarios play out across the chart.
Dynamic, interactive visualizations not only look cool, but they’re a key part of helping business leaders make faster and more accurate decisions, providing easy ways for users to navigate and make sense of large data sets in a short amount of time. Visualizing your data in well-organized graphs and charts is the path to not only stunning, but also highly usable (and highly used!) dashboards.
Have you spotted any up-and-coming trends in Data Visualization? If so, share them with us below.